Cardinal Woodpecker

Introduction: Cardinal woodpeckers (Dendropicos fuscescens) inhabit any woodland, thornveld and broad-leafed woodland savannah, but avoid evergreen forest and farmsteads. It is the most common tree woodpecker in southern African. Predators include the Ovambo sparrowhawk.

Distribution: Throughout Namibia such as Etosha National Park, Caprivi, Rundu, Tsumkwe, Luderitz and scattered around the Kalahari Desert.

Diet: Forages in thin, mainly dead branches, stems of trees and shrubs, often hanging under branches to peck open cavities to extract larvae and pupae of beetles and other insects. Also eats spiders, fruit of selected trees which they break into the seed pods.

Description: Small to medium-sized woodpeckers with a short to medium length bill. Plumages are adorned with speckles, spots and bars. They have a distinctive loud, screeching voice. The word Dendropicos is Greek for tree pecker and fuscescens is Latin for becoming brown.

Breeding: Between 1 and 3 eggs are laid between July and December in a nest dug by both male and female, usually above ground on the underlying side of a dead, leaning tree stem. Incubation periods are around 12 or 13 days.

Size: 14 to 16cm.

Weight: 30g.

Birds of Namibia Wildlife of Namibia

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