Birda Logo
Features
Birda+
About
Species Guide
Challenges
Shop
loading...
A photo of a Golden-tailed Woodpecker (Campethera abingoni), male
Golden-tailed Woodpecker, Male

Golden-tailed Woodpecker

Campethera abingoni

The Golden-tailed Woodpecker, known scientifically as Campethera abingoni, is a bird that captures the eye with its barred, greenish upper part plumage and streaked underparts. The golden-olive tail, while not markedly different from related species, adds a touch of elegance to its appearance. This bird measures between 20 to 21 centimeters from bill to tail tip, with the southern races being slightly heavier at around 70 grams compared to the northern race's 55 grams. Males are generally larger and heavier than females.

Identification Tips

To distinguish between the sexes, one must look to the head markings. Males boast red and brown fore-crowns, while females display black with white spots. The malar stripes also differ, with males showing red and females a mottled black and white pattern. The iris of this species is typically dark red, though it can vary, and the mandibles are slate grey. The legs and feet are a greenish-olive hue. Juveniles can be identified by their heavy streaking on the throat and breast, barred bellies, mottled malar stripes, and a brown to brownish-grey iris.

Habitat

The Golden-tailed Woodpecker is found in a variety of woodland habitats, including coastal forest, miombo, mopane, and acacia woodlands. It has a particular fondness for riparian woodland, especially in the drier regions of southern Africa. This bird tends to forage intensively in the lower to middle strata of trees within its territory, which can span 10 to 15 hectares.

Distribution

This species is quite widespread in woodlands and forests south of the equator and is more localized to the north. Its range extends across numerous African countries, from Angola to Zimbabwe, including regions such as the Ivory Coast, Kenya, and South Africa.

Behaviour

The Golden-tailed Woodpecker is known for establishing large territories and may travel some distance between foraging sites. It is a solitary bird, often seen probing and gleaning for food.

Song & Calls

The bird's vocal repertoire includes a single, strident call-note, often described as "waaa" or "weeea," typically emitted by the male. It also produces a long-range, repeated "yaooaak-yaaaaaak" call and is known to drum softly.

Breeding

Breeding occurs in the early summer, with both sexes participating in the excavation of the nest, usually on the underside of a branch. They lay two to three glossy white eggs, which are incubated by both parents, with the male taking the night shift. The incubation period lasts about 13 days, and the chicks, fed regurgitated food, fledge after 22 to 25 days. Their nests are sometimes parasitized by various species of honeyguide.

Similar Species

The Mombasa Woodpecker, with its yellower plumage below and brighter golden-green upper parts, is a similar species. Other woodpeckers like the Cardinal, Bennett's, Reichenow's, and Nubian are browner above and more clearly barred, with only the Cardinal Woodpecker also displaying streaking below.

Diet and Feeding

The Golden-tailed Woodpecker primarily feeds on arboreal ants and termites, but it also consumes millipedes, wood-boring larvae, and leaf-feeding moth larvae. It is often seen alongside the Cardinal Woodpecker, which tends to exploit thinner branches.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Golden-tailed Woodpecker as Least Concern, indicating that it currently faces no significant threats to its survival.

Golden-tailed Woodpecker Sounds



Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Golden-tailed Woodpecker Fun Facts

Did you know?
Only male Golden-tailed Woodpeckers incubate the nest during the night.

Golden-tailed Woodpeckers on Birda

Sightings

More Woodpeckers

A photo of a Bay Woodpecker (Blythipicus pyrrhotis) , male

Bay Woodpecker

Blythipicus pyrrhotis
Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
Nicole
Gets me outdoors more
I'm still loving this app. I use it most days & gets me outdoors more. Enjoying watching others progress and photo's, it's improved my wellbeing.... I love this app! I can keep a record of sightings and see what others have seen too.
Mike T
Sense of Community
A great app, which is continually being improved. What really comes through is the passion of those behind the app. The sense of community is brilliant, so much help and support provided to new and/or in experienced birders.
Leonie
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Anonymous
The best bird logging app
Birda is honestly the best bird logging app I have seen. I love all the features it has from being able to do a session and log all the birds you see in one sitting, to being able to connect with other birders from all over the globe!
Nedz53
Really useful
Downloaded to give it a try, everything worked perfectly, recorded my first bird watching walk. Very impressed. Have already recommended to friends!
Abi.M
Awesome App
I really enjoy using this app! It is such a friendly community of bird-lovers who are happy to help if I need ID advice. It’s been great motivation to get outdoors and go birding more! 10/10 😍😍
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
778
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Jake W
Great app
I use this app all the time as it’s quick and easy to log individual sightings or whole birding sessions. It’s an excellent way to meet new people and the forum is full of really friendly people. The challenges are a great way to get involved and learn more about birds. Cannot recommend it enough!
As featured in
AboutPressAmbassadorsAffiliatesInfluencersCareersPrivacyTerms & Conditions
An app for birdwatchers
Giving back
Connect with us
Copyright © 2024 Chirp Birding. All rights reserved.