Cardinal Woodpeckers

Cardinal Woodpecker, Dendropicos fuscescens, Jao Camp, Botswana, Africa (8/22/11)


Member of the Picidae Family: Woodpeckers ... Sapsuckers ... Flickers


The Cardinal Woodpeckers (Dendropicos fuscescens) are found across sub-Saharan Africa, where they inhabit myriad habitats - from thornbush to dense forests.

Description

The Cardinal Woodpeckers have the typical woodpecker shape. They measure between 14 - 15 cm in length and have a stiff tails that support them against tree trunks and they move up and down. The beak is straight and pointed.

The back is olive with white spots. Below they are white with black streaks. The face is white except for the black malar stripe.

The adult male can be identified by his red hind crown and nape; the juvenile male has a red hindcrown and black nape. The female has a black nape and dark hindcrown. They have a small crest that is raised when they are excited.

Nesting / Breeding

They nest in unlined tree cavities.

Diet / Feeding

Their diet consists of insects, which they catch with their long tongue that darts forward to capture their prey.

Calls / Vocalizations

Their calls are described as a high-pitched krrrek-krrrek-krrrek.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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