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Cardinal Woodpecker | Dendropicos fuscescens

The Cardinal Woodpecker is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Picidae bird family group which includes birds such as Woodpeckers, Wrynecks.

The description for the Cardinal Woodpecker (Latin name Dendropicos fuscescens) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Dendropicos fuscescens can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 486 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 135. You will find a picture of the Cardinal Woodpecker on page 145.

NOTE: The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition*. This edition contained a number of taxonomic changes as well as changes to English names used traditionally and in earlier editions of most bird books in South Africa. The following paragraph notes such changes if any.

There have been no changes in the common name between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition. There have been no changes in the Latin name for the Cardinal Woodpecker between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Cardinal Woodpecker is known in Afrikaans as Kardinaalspeg.

The Cardinal Woodpecker has a height of 16 cms and weighs around 30 gms. The head is coloured brown while the bill is coloured black. The Dendropicos fuscescens has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a brown coloured back. The eyes are red, brown.

The male Dendropicos fuscescens has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird.

Take note of the bird's main distinguishing features such as colour, size and leg length relative to the body size of the bird. Colours of a bird's body parts can be helpful. Be aware what may appear brown to one person is described in Roberts Birds using some other word ... for example brown, black. See colours used in Roberts.

Head is brown

Eyes are red, brown

Bill is black

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is brown

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the tree trunk

This bird eats insects such as butterflies, bees, wasps, locusts and ants. These invertebrates are usually hawked aerially, killed and then eaten .

Breeding, Habitat and Nesting Habits ...

The Cardinal Woodpecker is a monogamous bird which means that the bird finds and breeds with one partner for the rest of its life. The bird lays between 1 to 3 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

The Cardinal Woodpecker is mainly found in light and densely wooded forests, where there are Mopane trees.

The bird is mainly found in the Savanna grasslands where it breeds and feeds.

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

The reference for the information following is "Roberts Birds of Southern Africa", 7th Edition * edited by PAR Hockey, WRJ Dean and PG Ryan, published by "The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund."

copyright: Tony Roocroft +27-11-454-0105

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