Sind woodpecker

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The Sind woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis) belongs to the family of piculets and woodpeckers, the Picidae.

The Sind woodpecker species is distributed in India, Pakistan and Iran. These woodpecker species are reported to be widespread and locally common. These woodpeckers are monotypic species.
Overview & Quick Facts Description & Identification
Pictures of Sind Woodpecker Distribution & Range
Ecosystem & Habitat Diet & Feeding Behavior
Breeding Habits Migration & Movement Patterns
Conservation & Survival IUCN Status
Taxonomy & Classification Bird World

Appearance, physical description and identification

The Sind woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis) is a medium-sized woodpecker, measuring 20 to 23 cm in length and weighing 40 to 65 grams.

The males of these woodpecker species have dark red crown and nape and the females have black crown and nape. The forehead is dirty white. The hinderneck is black. The face is whitish. There is a black line from the bill to the side of the neck.

The sides of the breast have a black patch with "paw" like pattern. The underparts are whitish. The vent region is reddish. The tail is black and the back and wings bear pied appearance.

The bill is strong and dark gray. The irises are reddish brown. The legs and feet are black. The call of these woodpecker species is a repeated “chir-rir" or "toi-whit toi-whit" sound.
Sind woodpecker - Dendrocopos assimilis
Birds of India - Image of Sind woodpecker - Dendrocopos assimilis by John Gerrard Keulemans

Origin, geographical range and distribution

The Sind woodpeckers are distributed in northwest India, Pakistan and southeast Iran. In India, these species are distributed in the state of Punjab.

The Important Bird and Biodiversity Areas (IBA) of the Sind woodpecker species in the Islamic Republic of Iran are, Bahu Kalat Protected Area, Rud-i-Shur, Rud-i-Shirin and Rud-i-Minab deltas, Mehrouyeh Wildlife Refuge, Rud-i-Jagin and Rud-i-Gabrik deltas and Rud-i-Gaz and Rud-i-Hara deltas.

Ecosystem and habitat

These woodpecker species have moderate forest dependence. They normally occur in altitudes from 0 to 2200 meters. The artificial ecosystems and habitats of these species include rural gardens and plantations.

The natural ecosystems and habitats of these woodpecker species include tropical and subtropical dry forests, riverine forests, thorny shrublands, tropical and subtropical dry scrublands and wetlands like freshwater springs and oases.

Diet and feeding behavior

The diet of this Sind woodpecker consists mainly of insects. Wood-boring insects, insect larvae, spiders, ants and beetles are their primary food. These species bore holes and pick insects and insect larvae hiding below the bark.

Reproduction and breeding habits

The breeding season of these Sind woodpeckers is during March and April in most of their range. These species are monogamous. They nest in tree holes excavated by the breeding pair.

The Sind woodpecker clutch contains three to five white eggs. Both the parents incubate the eggs. The chicks hatch out after 12 days of incubation and fledge after 20 days. Both parents brood and feed the altricial chicks.

Migration and movement patterns

These Sind woodpecker species are non-migratory resident birds. They disperse locally after breeding. The populations in higher altitudes descend to the lower levels during winter.

Post breeding, the juvenile Sind woodpeckers may disperse and establish in new locations within the range. Within their range they may make local movements for feeding and breeding.

Sind woodpecker - Quick Facts

  • Scientific name: Dendrocopos assimilis
  • Species author: (Blyth, 1849)
  • Synonyms/Protonym: Picus assimilis Blyth, 1849
  • Family: Picidae › Piciformes › Aves › Chordata › Animalia
  • Vernacular names: English: Sind woodpecker, Chinese: 信德啄木鸟, French: Pic du Sind, German: Tamariskenspecht, Spanish: Pico del Sind, Russian: Тамарисковый дятел, Japanese: カタジロアカゲラ, Persian: دارکوب بلوچی
  • Other names: Sind pied woodpecker, Sind Woodpecker
  • Distribution: India, Pakistan, Iran
  • Diet and feeding habits: wood-boring insects, larvae, ants
  • IUCN status listing: Least Concern (LC)

Conservation and survival

The global population size of the Sind woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis) has not been quantified. The overall population trend of the species is considered to be stable.

In most of its range, this Sind woodpecker species is reported to be widespread and locally common. The generation length is 5.2 years. Its distribution size is about 1,490,000

Habitat alteration and destruction and deforestation are the main threats that are endangering the survival of these woodpecker species.

IUCN and CITES status

The Sind woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis) does not approach the thresholds for being Vulnerable, either under the range size criterion, or under the population trend criterion or under the population size criterion.

The IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) has categorized and evaluated the woodpecker species and has listed it as of "Least Concern".

The CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) status is ‘Not Evaluated’ for the Sind woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis).
Taxonomy and scientific classification of Dendrocopos assimilis
Species:D. assimilis
Binomial name:Dendrocopos assimilis
IUCN status listing:
Least Concern
The Sind woodpecker (Dendrocopos assimilis) is closely related to the great spotted woodpecker (Dendrocopos major).
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Image source:
Image author: John Gerrard Keulemans | License : Public domain
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