Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha)


French: Pic à nuque jaune German: Gelbnackenspecht Spanish: Pito nuquigualdo

Picus flavinucha


, 1834,

Himalayas and lower regions of India


Closely related to C. mentale, which is separated altitudinally in area of range overlap. Much individual variation in plumage tone and markings, races intergrading, and clinal decrease in size from N to S. Race kumaonense sometimes considered too poorly differentiated (on average longer-winged, generally with less yellow tinge on upperparts, more rufous in wing) from nominate, but probably merits recognition#R. Proposed races archon (N Vietnam) and lylei (N & W Thailand) barely distinguishable, and features fall within range of individual variation of other races; marianae (described from Mt Victoria, in W Myanmar) synonymized with nominate. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. f. kumaonense Koelz, 1950 – Himalayan foothills in N India (Uttarakhand) and possibly to W Nepal.
  • C. f. flavinucha (Gould, 1834) – foothills from C Nepal to NE & E India (S to Odisha and N Andhra Pradesh) and E to Myanmar, S China (S Sichuan, Yunnan) and N Vietnam.
  • C. f. ricketti Styan, 1898 – Tonkin area of N Vietnam, and E to SE China (Fujian).
  • C. f. pierrei (Oustalet, 1889) – SE Thailand to S Vietnam.
  • C. f. styani Ogilvie-Grant, 1899 – Hainan I.
  • C. f. wrayi Sharpe, 1888 – Malay highlands.
  • C. f. mystacale Salvadori, 1879 – N & C Sumatra mountains.
  • C. f. korinchi Chasen, 1940 – mountains of SW Sumatra.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 32–35 cm; 153–198 g. Male has olive-green forehead and crown, feathers tipped rufous-brown when fresh, tips of elongated hindcrown feathers and nape bright... read more


    Variety of “keep” notes, including disyllabic “chup-chup” or “ke-eep”, also rather variable (often... read more


    Various types of forest, open evergreen and deciduous forests with tall trees, oak (Quercus... read more

    Food and feeding

    Animal food mainly ants and termites (Isoptera), and large insect larvae, particularly of wood-boring beetles (Cerambycidae); unusual items... read more


    Mar–Jun in Indian Subcontinent, from Feb in SE Asia, and Apr–May in Sumatra. Crest-raising, in intense display combined with... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or fairly common throughout its range; common in SE Asia; rare in China. Occurs in many protected areas, e.g. Chitwan National Park (Nepal),... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Greater Yellownape (Chrysophlegma flavinucha). 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 6 December 2019).