Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker

Scarlet-backed Flowerpecker Dicaeum cruentatum occurs India to Greater Sundas, with cruentatum from southeastern Tibet to Fujian and Hainan. Lives in moist lowland forests, also gardens and parks, even in urban areas; to 1000 m. Often seen in forest canopy taking berries of fruiting mistletoe. Male has black face mask reaching down to breast sides. Wings and tail dark blue. Blood red from forehead to uppertail coverts. Underparts creamy white; flanks grey. Female olive-green with blackish wings and tail, and blood-red uppertail coverts and rump; underparts greyish with white throat and central belly. Bill grey; feet black. Juvenile like female but has orange bill; rump plain olive-green to orangeish, never red. Song thin, sometimes trilling and squeaky. One song consists of a long, rising, thin note followed by five to ten faster, higher-pitched notes. Other calls include thin zits and a harsh chit-chit-chit. — Craig Brelsford


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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