Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)


Red-headed Flameback (Chrysocolaptes erythrocephalus)


French: Pic à face rouge German: Rotkopf-Sultanspecht Spanish: Pito sultán cabecirrojo

Chrysocolaptes erythrocephalus


, 1877,

Puerto Princesa, Palawan


Until recently, considered a subspecies in the C. lucidus group of taxa (C. guttacristatusC. stricklandi, C. strictusC. erythrocephalusC. haematribon, C. lucidus and C. xanthocephalus). Differs from C. haematribon in its golden back (3), red head sides (3), yellow-and-olive-flecked crown (female) (3), yellowish bill (ns[2]), blackish ear-covert spot (ns[1]), pinkish chin (ns[1]), and underpart pattern like that of lucidus (ns[2])#R. Differs from C. lucidus in five of the first six characters listed above (no golden back, and allowing 2 for yellowish bill), plus a yellow-and-olive-flecked crown (female) (ns[2])#R. Differs from C. xanthocephalus in its golden back (3), red head sides (3), blackish ear-covert spot (ns[1]), pinkish chin (ns[1]), yellow-and-olive-flecked crown (female) (ns[1]), and underpart pattern like C. lucidus (2)#R. Monotypic.


W Philippines: Balabac, Palawan and Calamian Group.

Descriptive notes

c. 28–34 cm. Male has entire head and large crest red, except for black spot on ear-coverts and a thin dark malar; chin pinkish; upperparts to upper back and upperwing-... read more


Little known.


Forests, including secondary forest, also plantations, and clearings with many standing trees;... read more

Food and feeding

No information.


Activity suggestive of breeding recorded Jan–May.



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Has relatively small global range throughout which habitat loss has been extensive. Although no published estimates are known, total population must be small.... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Red-headed Flameback (Chrysocolaptes erythrocephalus). 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 9 December 2019).