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Brown-capped Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Male, nominate subspecies, images of same individual showing plumage detail
Photo © by Alok Tewari
Mangar Bani Forest, Faridabad-Gurgaon Road, Haryana, India, June 2018

Alternative name: Indian Pygmy Woodpecker

Yungipicus nanus

Picoides nanus; Dendrocopos nanus


Female, nominate subspecies
Photo © by obasanmi
Kanha, India, 15 March 2005

13 cm (5 in)

  • Brown and white barring on upperparts
  • Streaked white underparts
  • Spotted white tail
  • Pink-rimmed white irises
  • Pale brown crown (edged with red in males)
  • Pale brown eyestripe
  • White supercilium and cheek

Similar Species

A little smaller than a Red-vented Bulbul and bigger than a Purple-rumped Sunbird.


Found on the Indian Subcontinent and Sri Lanka.



Three subspecies recognized[1]:

  • Y. n. nanus in northern and central India
  • Y. n. cinereigula in southern India
  • Y. n. gymnopthalmos in Sri Lanka

It was formerly considered conspecific with Sunda Woodpecker.


Paddy fields, mangroves, coastal scrub, plantations, parks and gardens, open woodland.



Their diet consists of small invertebrates and their larvae, particularly ants, termites and beetles. They also eat some fruit.


The pair both excavate a hole about 15-30cm long in a dead tree.


Click on photo for larger image


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. BF Member observations
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2019)

Recommended Citation

External Links