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Bearded Woodpecker | Dendropicos namaquus

The Bearded 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 Bearded Woodpecker (Latin name Dendropicos namaquus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Dendropicos namaquus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 487 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 136. You will find a picture of the Bearded 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. The Latin name for this bird is Thripias namaquus in the Roberts 6th Edition.

The Bearded Woodpecker is known in Afrikaans as Baardspeg.

The Bearded Woodpecker has a height of 25 cms and weighs around 87 gms. The head is coloured black while the bill is coloured grey. The Dendropicos namaquus has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a black coloured back. The eyes are red, brown.

The male Dendropicos namaquus 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 black

Eyes are red, brown

Bill is grey

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is black

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

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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