Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Brown-fronted Woodpecker (Leiopicus auriceps)


French: Pic à tête jaune German: Braunstirnspecht Spanish: Pico frentipardo
Other common names: Brown-fronted Pied Woodpecker

Picus auriceps


, 1831,



Recent molecular analyses found this species to be sister to L. medius, the two forming a clade with L. mahrattensis#R. Larger birds in NW of range described as race incognitus, but size decreases clinally from W to E, and no grounds for naming of geographical races. Some variation in nape colour of females, but few details; further study required. Monotypic.


NC Pakistan (N Baluchistan), and W Himalayas from NE Afghanistan (Nuristan) E to N India and Nepal#R.

Descriptive notes

19–20 cm; 37–50 g. Male has dull brown to yellow-brown forehead and forecrown, yellower mid-crown, orange-red nape patch, black hindneck; rest of head white, grey... read more


Call “chick” or “peek”, more squeaky than that of Dendrocopos... read more


Coniferous and pine-oak forest, and montane dry deciduous forest; also park-like woodland and... read more

Food and feeding

Insects and their larvae, mainly lepidopteran caterpillars, grubs. Commonly takes vegetable matter, including fruits, berries and pine... read more


Season Apr–Jul. Nest-hole excavated at 2–12 m, mostly below 8 m, in dead trunk or in underside of large branch of pine,... read more


Descends to lower altitudes in winter.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common throughout range. No known threats. Research required to determine details of its breeding.

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Brown-fronted Woodpecker (Leiopicus auriceps). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).