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Common Name : Black-backed Yellow Woodpecker     -       Scientific Name : Chrysocolaptes festivus       -       Other Name : White-naped Woodpecker (E), Maha Ran Kerala (S)
Haba Wewa Radagama
11/15/2014
Haba Wewa Radagama
11/15/2014
Haba Wewa Radagama
11/15/2014
Haba Wewa Radagama
11/15/2014
Haba Wewa Radagama
11/15/2014

This striking species is found in India and Sri Lanka with a very small population in Nepal. This is the largest of the nine species of resident woodpecker species in the country. It is an uncommon species primarily found in the dry lowlands and a few locations in the wet lowlands.

The conservation status of this species is regarded as “Vulnerable” (National Red List 2012).

Black-backed Yellow Woodpecker is a species strictly protected under schedule of IV of the Fauna and Flora Protection Ordinance as amended by Act No. 22 of 2009.

I have seen this woodpecker at many localities including Anawilundawa, Nawadankulama, Kalpitiya, Tissamaharama, Yala and Udawalawa National Parks, Hettipola, Kalawewa, Anuradapaura, Tanamalwila and Anamaduwa. In the wet zone I have seen this species at Gampaha.

In 2012 a pair was photographed nesting on a coconut tree at the Negombo hospital premises. In March 2008 I observed a pair of this species nesting on a dead coconut tree at Hettipola.

On the 15th of November 2014 I was informed of a pair nesting in a Chena bordering Wilpattu National park at Radagama. The nest was built on a dead coconut tree. I observed the nesting birds visiting the nest from about 11.30am until 2pm. As I watched the male arrived at the nest with an insect in its beak and the female left the nest. After about 40 minutes the female arrived with and insect in its beak and the male left the nest.