- Art Gallery -

Geocolaptes olivaceus

Geocolaptes olivaceus

Cladus: Eukaryota
Supergroup: Opisthokonta
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Cladus: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Classis: Aves
Subclassis: Carinatae
Infraclassis: Neornithes
Parvclassis: Neognathae
Ordo: Piciformes
Familia: Picidae
Subfamilia: Picinae
Genus: Geocolaptes
Species: Geocolaptes olivaceus
Subspecies: G. o. olivaceus - G. o. petrobates - G. o. prometheus - G. o. theresae


Geocolaptes olivaceus (Gmelin, 1788)


Systema Naturae 1 pt1 p.431

Vernacular names
English: Ground Woodpecker

The Ground Woodpecker, Geocolaptes olivaceus, is one of only three ground-dwelling woodpeckers in the world. It inhabits rather barren, steep, boulder-strewn slopes in relatively cool hilly and mountainous areas of South Africa, and has yet to be recorded outside of Southern Africa. It is the largest woodpecker in the region, reaching 30cm in length. It usually goes about in pairs or small parties and is best located by its loud, raucous 2-note call (chik-ree, chik-ree) with head-swinging. It often peers over or around rocks at intruders. It breeds in spring and early summer (August to November), and the nest is in a tunnel excavated by the bird itself in the vertical bank of a stream or watercourse.

It is to be found in a broad swath running from south-west to north-east, from the Cape Peninsula and Namaqualand to the Transvaal. Its diet consists mainly of ants with their larvae, pupae and eggs. These are extracted from dead wood or between rocks, using its long, sticky tongue. Usually 3 glossy white eggs are laid in a chamber at the end of the tunnel.


* Roberts' Birds of Southern Africa - 6th edition (John Voelcker Fund, 1993) ISBN 0 620 17583 4

Biology Encyclopedia

Birds, Fine Art Prints

BirdsĀ Images

Source: Wikipedia, Wikispecies: All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License