Woodpeckers that are easily recognizable due to the red crest on their heads

A genus of true woodpeckers widespread in the Indian subcontinent, South East, East, and Central Asia, and Southeastern Europe. Though their appearance differs depending on species, they generally have distinctive markings, including black and white striped or spotted plumage and a bright red crest on the head.

As their name suggests, their strong, chisel-like beak allows them to repeatedly strike the bark of trees to excavate insects for food and to make a shelter. Their feet are specially modified so that two toes face forward and the other two backward, allowing them to climb up trees vertically.

In addition to their ecological importance as natural predators of insects, Dendrocopos woodpeckers also play a significant role in their ecosystem as primary excavators of tree cavities, which provide habitat for a variety of other species, including bats, squirrels, and other birds.