Crimson-backed Flameback Chrysocolaptes stricklandi

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Identification

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Large, spectacular woodpecker with crimson upperparts, black-scaled pale underparts, and a crested head. Males have a red crest, females a black crest with fine white markings. Endemic to Sri Lanka. Typically in pairs, in the understory of forests and woodlands, where it regularly joins mixed species flocks; can also occasionally be found in disturbed areas or home gardens. Note the pale ivory colored bill, and lack of a prominent white eyebrow, unlike the similar Red-backed Flameback. Also note a distinctive elliptical marking on the face below the eye, which distinguishes this flameback from all other flamebacks on Sri Lanka. Frequently given call is a rapid, fast-paced, high-pitched trill, usually getting quieter and decelerating at the end. A fast-paced, descending drum is also given regularly; both the call and drum are different from that of the more common Red-backed Flameback.

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