basic information

White-Winged Woodpecker

Dendrocopos leucopterus (Salvatori, 1870)

Белокрылый дятел | Аққанат тоқылдақ

Bura, Southern Trans-Balkhash area, Almaty oblast
© Askar Isabekov


Male on breeding plumage seems more piebald than Great Spotted Woodpecker at the expense of larger white patches on scapulars. Forehead is cream color, crown is black metal-glossed, on the nape there are rather narrow red spot. Mantle, rump and uppertail coverts are black; cheeks are white bottom-bordered by the black strip reached to nape and forked in a back part of a head, one branch reaches to the breast, another one to the nape. The flight feathers are blackish-brown but in the end of the breeding season become lighter owing to fading. The flight feathers are with white spots on webs width up to 8-12 mm. On inner webs these spots almost reach the feather core (start with PM4). On secondaries white spots merge. The tail feathers are black, two central pairs are wedge-shaped and longer than outer one on 15-20 mm; the outer feathers have brown and white spots on webs. The throat and the breast are white, the abdomen and undertail coverts are bright red. The female is similar to male, but slightly smaller and without red spot on nape. Dark color of plumage of female is slightly paler than at male. Juveniles in the first plumage have on head the golden-red crown and more pale plumage. Unlike adults primaries of juveniles have white tips width of 2-2,5 mm. Throat and breast are dirty-white. Uppertail reddens later than at juveniles of Great Spotted Woodpecker; anyway at the end of July it has only pale-yellow color. They also have less or lack dark streaks on flanks and breast. Generally very similar to Great Spotted Woodpecker, features a large of white on the folded wing.


Breeds in mountain and riparian forests, saxaul groves in deserts of southern Kazakhstan and Central Asia, and also northern Afghanistan and western China. Please see the detailed distribution in Kazakhstan in the section Subspecies.


Rare resident. Inhabits the riparian and saxaul plain forests, groves, old shelterbelts. On Pskem and Ugam ridges lives in gardens and mixed walnut forests on valleys, at altitudes up to 2000 m. Breeds in separate pairs at distance 300-500 m one from another, nest is located in tree holes (asiatic poplar, willow, apple-tree, elm, walnut or saxaul) at height 0.5-5 m above the ground. Clutch of 4-5 eggs is laid in mid-April to mid-May. Both parents incubate clutch and fed juveniles, which fledge in end June to early July. Broods with parents recorded until September. Re-nesting after loss of first clutch is common.


Dendrocopos leucopterus albipennis (Buturlin, 1908)

    Description. On outer webs of PM 4-6 white occupies all feathers except black tips, or dominant white interrupts by the small black spots located usually on unequal distance from each other. White spot on folded wing formed by white of secondaries is larger than leptorhynchus. White on outer pair of tail feathers dominates, black bands are narrow, sometimes intermittent. Throat, breast, upper-belly and forehead in fresh plumage may be slightly buffy-tinged.
    Distribution. Lives in deserts from eastern coast of Aral Sea to western foothills of Tien Shan and Karatau.

Dendrocopos leucopterus leptorhynchus (Severtzov, 1875)

    Description. On outer webs of PM 4-6 black and white spots arranged in correct sequence, black spots usually occupy more space than white ones; black dominates above white. White spot on folded wing formed by white of secondaries is less than albipennis. White on outer pair of tail feathers less distributed than black, the black bands are broad and always solid. Throat, breast, upper-belly and forehead in fresh plumage are buffy-tinged in a varying degree.
    Distribution. Lives from lower reaches of Chu river, Karatau and western foothills of Tien Shan eastward to Northern Tien Shan and foothills of Dzhungarskiy Alatau, including Southern Trans-Balkhash area and Ile and Lepsy valleys


«Птицы Казахстана» под редакцией И.А.Долгушина. том 3. изд. АН КазССР. Алма-Ата - 1970. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999.



Dendrocopos leucopterus albipennis
(Buturlin, 1908)
Dendrocopos leucopterus leptorhynchus
(Severtzov, 1875)

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unidentified birds


Alexandr Mesiats: Да, безусловно, согласен с Вами, но следует ли из этого, что чернушке, как "скальнику" (и практически "чистому" синатропу) легче приспособится [....]


Нурлан Онгарбаев: Если других версий нет, переношу в Садовую.


Игорь Фефелов: Тоже за дерябу, расцветка физиономии очень характерная.

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