Lesser Goldenback

Conservation status

Least Concern

Population Trend


Alternate Names

Lesser Golden-backed Woodpecker, Black-rumped Flameback Woodpecker

Native Habitat



Insects, Larvae, Termites, Nectar


Lesser Goldenback

Dinopium benghalense

The Lesser Goldenback found widely distributed in the Indian Subcontinent. It is one of the few woodpeckers that are seen in urban areas. It has a characteristic rattling-whinnying call and an undulating flight. It is the only golden-backed woodpecker with a black throat and black rump.

The Lesser Goldenback is a large species at 30 cm in length. It has a typical woodpecker shape, and the golden yellow wing coverts are distinctive. The rump is black and not red as in the Greater Flameback. The underparts are white with dark chevron markings. The black throat finely marked with white immediately separates it from other golden backed woodpeckers in the Indian region. The head is whitish with a black nape and throat, and there is a greyish eye patch. Unlike the Greater Flameback it has no dark moustachial stripes. The adult male has a red crown and crest. Females have a black forecrown spotted with white, with red only on the rear crest. Young birds are like the female, but duller.

Like other woodpeckers, this species has a straight pointed bill, a stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, and zygodactyl feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. The long tongue can be darted forward to capture insects.

Regional Names
  • Bengali:
    বাংলা কাঠঠোকরা
  • Gujarati:
    સોનેરી પીઠ લક્કડખોદ
  • Hindi:
    सुनहरा कठफोड़वा
  • Kannada:
    ಸುವರ್ಣ ಬೆನ್ನಿನ ಮರಕುಟಿಕ
  • Malayalam:
  • Marathi:
    छोटा सोनपाठी सुतार, वाढई
  • Nepali:
    कालोढाडे लाहाँचे
  • Sanskrit:
  • Tamil:
    பொன்முதுகு மரங்கொத்தி
  • Telugu:
Media Gallery

Dinopium benghalense

Quick Facts
  • Although pecking of the trees looks like activity that may hurt Woodpecker, but the bird does not feel the pain at all. The brain is prevented from trauma thanks to special air pockets in the skull.
  • Feathers that look like bristles on the nostrils of Woodpecker prevent inhalation of wood particles.