Campethera abingoni (Golden-tailed woodpecker) 

Goudstertspeg [Afrikaans]; iSibagwebe, isiQophamuthi, uSibagwebe [Zulu]; Mbangura (generic term for woodpecker and also applied to Crested barbet) [Kwangali]; Hohodza (generic name for woodpecker) [Shona]; Ghongoswana (generic term for woodpecker) [Tsonga]; Kôkômere, Phaphadikôta [Tswana]; Goudstaartspecht [Dutch]; Pic à queue dorée [French]; Goldschwanzspecht [German]; Pica-pau-de-rabo-dourado [Portuguese]

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Deuterostomia > Chordata > Craniata > Vertebrata (vertebrates)  > Gnathostomata (jawed vertebrates) > Teleostomi (teleost fish) > Osteichthyes (bony fish) > Class: Sarcopterygii (lobe-finned fish) > Stegocephalia (terrestrial vertebrates) > Tetrapoda (four-legged vertebrates) > Reptiliomorpha > Amniota > Reptilia (reptiles) > Romeriida > Diapsida > Archosauromorpha > Archosauria > Dinosauria (dinosaurs) > Saurischia > Theropoda (bipedal predatory dinosaurs) > Coelurosauria > Maniraptora > Aves (birds) > Order: Piciformes > Family: Picidae

Campethera abingoni (Golden-tailed woodpecker)  Campethera abingoni (Golden-tailed woodpecker) 

Female Golden-tailed woodpecker. [photo Neil Gray ©]

Female golden-tailed woodpecker, Shamvura, Namibia. [photo Trevor Hardaker ©]

The Golden-tailed woodpecker is fairly common in sub-saharan Africa, preferring riparian, Miombo and Mopane woodland. It mainly forages in trees, tapping and probing branches, looking for insects and licking them up with its barbed tongue. Both sexes excavate the nest, which is usually a hole in the underside of a tree branch. Here it lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 13 days. The chicks are cared for by both parents, eventually leaving the nest after about 22-25 days. They become fully independent a few weeks after fledging.

Distribution and habitat

Mainly occurs from Angola and Tanzania to South Africa, with isolated populations in East Africa. In southern Africa, it is fairly common in Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, parts of Namibia and north-eastern South Africa. It generally prefers riparian woodland, thickets, Miombo (Brachystegia), Mopane (Colosphermum mopane) and Burkea (Burkea africana) woodland.

Distribution of Golden-tailed woodpecker in southern Africa, based on statistical smoothing of the records from first SA Bird Atlas Project (© Animal Demography unit, University of Cape Town; smoothing by Birgit Erni and Francesca Little). Colours range from dark blue (most common) through to yellow (least common). See here for the latest distribution from the SABAP2.  

Brood parasites

It has been recorded as host of the following birds:

Food 

Mainly forages in trees, tapping and probing branches in search of insects, then licking them up with its barbed tongue. It may also excavate insect nests and glean ants from branches. The following food items have been recorded in its diet:

Breeding

  • Both sexes excavate the nest, which is usually a hole in the underside of a tree branch, occasionally used over multiple seasons.
  • Egg-laying season is from August-December, peaking from September-November.
  • It lays 2-3 eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for about 13 days.
  • The chicks are cared for by both parents, eventually leaving the nest after about 22-25 days. They become fully independent a few weeks after fledging.

Threats

Not threatened.

References

  • Hockey PAR, Dean WRJ and Ryan PG (eds) 2005. Roberts - Birds of southern Africa, VIIth ed. The Trustees of the John Voelcker Bird Book Fund, Cape Town. 

 

 

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