Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Olive Woodpecker

On Saturday afternoon,  I closed the shop at 3pm (an hour early) We wanted to go home, pack a few bags and and boxes and take them to our temporary dwelling and unpack them there. We also wanted to be in time to watch the kick-off rugby match between South Africa and New Zealand at 5pm.

As we drove into our yard, I spotted a bird scurrying up some low branches. Not sure at what I was seeing, I jumped out of the car and snapped away. 

When we downloaded the photos, we realized we'd seen a woodpecker; our first in the Drakensberg. 

An Olive Woodpecker (female)

 I left this photo on to show the red rump of the bird

The Olive Woodpecker is a Southern African bird that belongs to the Picidae bird family group which includes birds such as Woodpeckers, Wrynecks.

The Olive Woodpecker has a height of 20 cms and weighs around 50 gms. The head is coloured grey while the bill is coloured grey. The Dendropicos griseocephalus has a grey coloured throat, grey, black legs and a grey coloured back. The eyes are red.

The male Dendropicos griseocephalus has physical features that are slightly different from the female bird. (it has a red cap where the female is without this feature) 

The Olive 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 3 eggs and they are coloured white.
The bird builds its nest within a tree cavity just a few meters above the ground. The hole in the tree is normally reused in the next nesting season.

This bird is very common in most of the Southern African Forests. (we have a dense forest below the house) 

I'm linking to Wild Bird Wednesday here



  1. Hello Jo, what a beautiful woodpecker! I love it's colors. Great series of photos. Congrats on your sighting too. Happy Wednesday, enjoy your day!

  2. Woodpacker is common in Europe too

  3. It's less colourful than the ones we see here, but still a very beautiful bird!

  4. How lucky that your eagle eyes spotted it.

  5. Not a bird I have seen before. We have woodpeckers here but not the olive though we do get a Green Woodpecker. Glad you managed to get some photos. Cheers Diane

  6. Hello Jo, nice photos of the woodpecker. You got some beauties snapping away, glad the camera was nearby. :)

  7. He's wonderful! What a great find!

  8. Hello! Beautiful woodpecker. Thank you for sharing!


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