Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Darjeeling Woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis)


French: Pic de Darjiling German: Darjeelingspecht Spanish: Pico de Darjeeling
Other common names: Darjeeling Pied Woodpecker

Picus (Dendrocopus) [sic] darjellensis


, 1845,

Darjeeling and Nepal


Probably a member of the D. major species-group (see below); suspected close affiliation with Dryobates cathpharius now shown to be unfounded#R. Position in genus requires clarification. NE populations on average slightly smaller; birds from S China thus described as race desmursi, but variation is clinal in nature. Monotypic.


WC Nepal and S & SE Tibet E to hills of NE India, N & W Myanmar, SC China (S Sichuan, W Yunnan) and N Vietnam (NW Tonkin).

Descriptive notes

23–25 cm; 61–87 g. Male has whitish lower forehead, black upper forehead and crown, narrow red nape patch, black hindneck; white lores, white sides of head tinged... read more


Single “tsik” calls, as fast series in alarm; also trill-like rattle. Drums frequently... read more


High-elevation forest, cloudforest with moss-covered trees, open woodland; also evergreen and... read more

Food and feeding

Larvae of wood-boring insects; also adults, larvae and pupae of other insects. Usually forages singly or in pairs, which keep loose contact... read more


Apr–May in W of range, sometimes to Jun; first nestlings in May. Moderate crest-raising is only visual display so far described. Nest... read more


Not well known; some altitudinal movements in Tibet and China, but some may remain at high... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common in Nepal, locally fairly common in India, common in Bhutan; uncommon in Tibet and China; uncommon in Myanmar and Tonkin. Rather poorly... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Darjeeling Woodpecker (Dendrocopos darjellensis). 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 24 January 2020).