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The Wildebeest's guide to South Africa

Cardinal Woodpecker

Afrikaans name: Kardinaalspeg

Cardinal Woodpecker

Male Cardinal Woodpecker

Photo © Steven Herbert

Dendropicos fuscescens

The Cardinal Woodpecker is a common bird in South Africa. It is widely distributed and can be found in suitable habitat over most of the country but it does not occur in arid areas.á

It can be found in woodlands, savanna, parks and gardens.

Cardinal Woodpeckers predominantly feed on beetles and their larvae which they find by digging into the bark of trees with their bills. They also feed on other larvae, spiders and ants. Occasionally they will eat some fruit or seeds.

Males are easily identified from females as they have some red on their crowns. The female lacks any red colouration on her head.

The favourite nesting spot for Cardinal Woodpeckers is a hole underneath the branch of a tree. Here they lay up to 3 eggs and they are cared for by both parents.


References and further reading

A First Guide to South African Birds - 7th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Year Published: 1975 - Page: 90

Birds of the Natal Drakensberg Park - Author: Robin Little and William Bainbridge - Year Published: 1992 - Page: 62

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Year Published: - Page: 143

Collins Illustrated Checklist - Birds of Southern Africa - 1st edition - Author: Ber van Perlo - Year Published: 1999 - Page: 49

Field Guide to the Birds of Kruger National Park - Author: Ian Sinclair and Ian Whyte - Year Published: 1991 - Page: 136

Geoff Lockwood's Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Year Published: - Page: 61

Newman's Birds of Southern Africa - 7th Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Year Published: 2000 - Page: 268

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 5th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1985 - Page: 421

Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th Edition - Author: Gordon Lindsay Maclean - Year Published: 1993 - Page: 418

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 4th Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 280

Wildlife of Southern Africa - Author: Martin Withers and David Hosking - Year Published: 2011 - Page: 134

List of South African Birds

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