Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)


Yellow-faced Flameback (Chrysocolaptes xanthocephalus)


French: Pic à face jaune German: Gelbwangen-Sultanspecht Spanish: Pito sultán carigualdo

Chrysocolaptes xanthocephalus

Walden and E. L. Layard

, 1872,

Negros, Philippines.


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 all-yellow face (both sexes) (3), yellow crown (female) (3), brighter red crown (male), back and wings (1), less dense and contrasting spotting on throat (ns[1]), pale (dirty flesh-coloured) legs (ns[1]), and almost plain dull yellow underparts (ns[1]); differs from C. lucidus in first two characters (yellow face and female crown) (6), plain yellow belly (2), and pale legs (ns[1])#R; differs from C. erythrocephalus in its red back (3), golden-yellow head sides (3), lack of blackish ear-covert spot (ns[1]), yellow vs pinkish chin (ns[1]), all-yellow crown and crest (female) (ns[1]), and virtually plain all-yellow underparts (2). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

C Philippines: Ticao, Masbate, Panay, Guimaras and Negros.

Descriptive notes

c. 28–30 cm. A highly distinctive woodpecker, somewhat smaller than its closest relatives. Male has crown and crest red, rest of head, neck and entire underparts golden-... read more


Emits fast, often squeaky-sounding trill, “di-di-di-di-di”, similar to that of congeners. No... read more


Lowland forest and plantations; requires some large trees. Lowlands and low hills; recorded to c.... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Presumably feeds mainly on small invertebrates such as ants and beetles.


No information available.



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Apparently rare, with few recent records. Global population currently put in band 250–999 mature individuals, but considered not to exceed 500. Numbers almost... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Yellow-faced Flameback (Chrysocolaptes xanthocephalus). 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 29 February 2020).