Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-crested Woodpecker (Dendropicos xantholophus)


French: Pic à couronne d’or German: Scheitelfleckspecht Spanish: Pito coronado
Other common names: Golden-crowned Woodpecker

Dendropicus [sic] xantholophus


, 1883,



Often placed, along with D. namaquus and D. pyrrhogaster, in a separate genus Thripias#R, or, more recently, all three placed in Chloropicus (which has priority)#R. Monotypic.


SE Nigeria and SW Cameroon E to S South Sudan, W & C Uganda and extreme W Kenya, and S to NW Angola and SW & SC DRCongo; recorded in Tanzania#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 25 cm; 50–73 g. Male has brown forehead merging into blackish crown, crown feathers with few white speckles, broad yellow tips, black nape and hindneck; white lores... read more


Single “dit” and “dit-it” notes to fast bursts of purring “ddditrrrrrr” and grating “grrrrrr”; also... read more


Mainly areas with large trees in lowland forest, forest edge, also in nearby thick secondary growth... read more

Food and feeding

Diet largely of wood-boring beetles and their larvae; also takes other insects (ants), and spiders. Mostly singly or in pairs. Forages in... read more


Probably Oct–Mar in Cameroon, and Jan–Apr and Sept elsewhere in W; Jun–Sept in Angola; Sept–Mar in Uganda and Kenya... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Common forest woodpecker. Considered common in Angola; uncommon in Kenya. Rather poorly known, but appears to be under no threat. Present in several... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Yellow-crested Woodpecker (Dendropicos xantholophus). 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 18 November 2018).