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Ground Woodpecker | Geocolaptes olivaceus

The Ground 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 Ground Woodpecker (Latin name Geocolaptes olivaceus) can be found in the 7th Edition of the Roberts Birds of Southern Africa. The Geocolaptes olivaceus can be quickly identified by its unique Roberts identification number of 480 and the detailed description of this bird is on page 134. You will find a picture of the Ground 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 Ground Woodpecker between the Roberts 6th and Roberts 7th Edition

The Ground Woodpecker is known in Afrikaans as Grondspeg.

The Ground Woodpecker is Endemic to the Southern African Region which means that this bird is only found in this region and nowhere else in the world.

The Ground Woodpecker has a height of 30 cms and weighs around 120 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured black. The Geocolaptes olivaceus has a white coloured throat, grey legs and a olive coloured back. The eyes are white.

The male Geocolaptes olivaceus 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 grey

Eyes are white

Bill is black

Legs are grey

Throat is white

Back is olive

Feeding Habits ...

This bird forages for food on the ground

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 Ground 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 2 to 4 eggs and they are coloured white.

The bird builts its nest in a hole in the ground.

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

Seen in Flocks, Singles or Pairs Normally ...

This bird is usually seen in small family groups or in large flocks

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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