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Common Flameback - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Common Goldenback)
Photo © by the late Dr Manjeet Singh
Kuala Selangor Nature Park, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, November 2005

Alternative Name: Common Goldenback

Dinopium javanense


Photo © byjweeyh
Singapore, July 2007

Size - 28-30cm (11-12in)
Golden mantle and wings, red lower back and rump, white face with two black malar strips and largely black hindneck with white sides of neck together with whitish underparts marked with blackish scales, distinctive. Throat and face tinged rufous or buff. Has three toes. Brown iris.
Male: Crown and pointed crest red
Female: Crown and crest black with whitish spots from forehead to the tip of the crest.

Similar Species

Difficult to separate from Greater Flameback (Goldenback) from lateral view, especially at a distance. Best separated by colour of iris and hindneck pattern.


Asia: found from India to Indochina; Greater Sundas; Philippines.


Spot-throated Flameback was formerly included in this species.


Photo © by SeeToh
Pasir Ris Park, Singapore, July 2016

There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • D. j. malabaricum:
  • In wet woodlands of western India
  • D. j. intermedium:
  • D. j. javanense:
  • D. j. borneonense:
  • D. j. exsul:
  • D. j. raveni:
  • On Eraban Island and adjacent north-eastern Borneo


Mangroves, deciduous forests, forest edges, peat swamp forests, coastal scrub, gardens and plantations. Range from lowlands to foothills.


Very social, regularly call out to each other.


They raise their crests, bow and swing their heads during displays. The male will feed the female during courtship. Nests in holes in trees and palms at less than 10 m above ground. Usually, the nest tree will be in a relatively open area. The clutch consists of 2 or 3 eggs.


Photo © by jweeyh
Singapore, 30 September 2020

Usually seen in pairs, largely on tree trunks and stems probing soft bark for insects and grubs. Their diet also consists of ants, larvae, cockroaches and small scorpions.


Voice: a sharp rattling churrrr and several other vocalizations.
Flight call: kowp-owp-owp-owp.
Also drums, but not so loudly as Buff-spotted Flameback


  1. Clements, J. F., P. C. Rasmussen, T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, A. Spencer, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2023. The eBird/Clements checklist of Birds of the World: v2023. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2012. IOC World Bird Names (version 3.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of several species including this one
  4. Birdforum Member observations
  5. Winkler, H. and D. A. Christie (2020). Common Flameback (Dinopium javanense), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.comfla1.01

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.1