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Sind Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo by Seyed Babak Mus
Near Minab Town, Iran, Spring 2004

Alternative name: Sind Pied Woodpecker

Dendrocopos assimilis


20-22 cm. A crispy pied woodpecker.


  • Bright red crown
  • Broad white forehead
  • No black boarder around crown
  • Black upperparts with large white area on inner wing-coverts, flight-feathers broadly barred white
  • Black uppertail, outer feathers with broad white bars (sometimes absent or much reduced)
  • White underparts, pink in centre of lower breast and belly
  • Red untertail-coverts


  • Black crown and broad white forehead
  • Rest of plumage like male


  • Duller than adults
  • Browner black areas
  • White areas buff-tinged
  • Pink undertail-coverts
  • Red patch in crown centre

Similar species

Separated from similar White-winged Woodpecker by alck of black bar behind cheek. Has more white on scapulars and broader wite barring on wings then Himalayan Woodpecker and Great Spotted Woodpecker. Smaller than similar Syrian Woodpecker. Note also red crown, black stripe from side of neck to mantle and shorter black stripe on breast.


Southeast Iran, Pakistan (Sind, Punjab and Baluchistan) and adjacent northwest India (Punjab).
Widespread and locally common.


This is a monotypic species.
Hybrids with Syrian Woodpecker occur rarely.


Found in thorn-scrub, riverine forest and desert wadis with acacias. Also in roadside trees, irrigated plantations, palm stands and gardens.
Occurs mainly in lowlands but up to 1600 m in Salt Range in Pakistan and maybe higher in Baluchistan.



Feeds on ants and larvae of wood-boring beetles.
Forages singly on trunks, branches and twigs of trees, bushes or fence posts. Also often on the ground and on fallen trees. Hammers and probes like other woodpeckers.


Breeding season from March to April. The nest hole is excavated by the male and the female in a trunk or a dead branch 1 to 4 m from the ground. Lays 3 to 4 eggs.


A resident species. A 19th-century record from northwest India indicates a long-distance dispersal.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved May 2015)
  4. Rasmussen, PC and JC Anderton. 2005. Birds of South Asia: The Ripley Guide. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334672

Recommended Citation

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