Skip to Content

Woodpecker, Ground

Identify and index birds in Southern Africa

Moderator: hilda

User avatar
francoisd
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1937
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Woodpecker: Ground

Unread postby francoisd » Thu Sep 07, 2006 1:13 pm

Ground woodpecker (Geocolaptes olivaceus)

Image

As far as SANParks are concerned I've only seen this bird in Mountain Zebra National Park thus far.

Other names:
Afrikaans: Grondspeg
German: Erdspecht
French: Pic laboureur
Dutch: Kaapse grondspecht

Habits
The Ground Woodpecker 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 not yet been recorded outside of Southern Africa. It is our largest woodpecker reaching up to 30cm in length. It is usually found in pairs or small groups and in summer is best located by its loud, raucous call. Birds sit erect on large boulders or flying close to the ground from one rock to the next. Hops when on the ground.

Food
Insects and larvae, including ants, obtained on the ground

User avatar
francoisd
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1937
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2004 1:38 pm

Unread postby francoisd » Mon Jun 18, 2007 9:13 am

Some photos I took this weekend. Not in a SANPark though.

Really put in some effort to get close. Located the birds at a spot I normally see them, half way up a mountain slope. Circled to their left and approached from the top so that I can have the sun from my back. Sat down a far way off just watching them while the watch me. Had some coffee and the slowly made my way closer by sliding on my backside with out getting up. As I see them getting uneasy I stopped and waited a while. From the time I got into the first position until the last photo was taken took ±1hour. I came to within 6 meters

Image Image
"The measure of life is not its duration but its donation." - Peter Marshall
www.flickr.com/groups/birdssa

User avatar
mountainview
Junior Virtual Ranger
Junior Virtual Ranger
Posts: 220
Joined: Tue Jan 02, 2007 5:09 pm

Unread postby mountainview » Mon Jun 18, 2007 7:39 pm

Ive seen them in vaious places in the Maloti-Drakensberg Transfontier Park, which now includes the Qwa-Qwa National Park into Golden Gate National Park and the uKhahlamba Drakensberg World Heritage Site.
Latest Lifers: Brown-Backed Honeybird; Violet-Eared Waxbill; Green-Winged Pytilia; and heard often but never seen - Yellow-Fronted Tinkerbird (±2m away in the open)

User avatar
Johan van Rensburg
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Award: Birder of the Year (2014)
Posts: 2619
Awards: Birder of the Year (2014) & Sighting of the Year - Birds (2013)
Joined: Wed Sep 06, 2006 3:33 pm
Location: Jam Street

Unread postby Johan van Rensburg » Tue Jun 19, 2007 8:13 am

You do not have to go to Cape Town to get up close to GWP! I have a dependable site (haven't dipped on GWP there yet :lol: ) near Wakkerstroom at the Zaaihoek Dam below the dam wall.

Image

Image
671 Latest lifer: Black coucal

Adansonia
Posts: 113
Joined: Mon Feb 12, 2007 8:23 pm
Location: Queenswood, Pretoria

Unread postby Adansonia » Mon Jun 25, 2007 8:09 pm

Saw them from the lookout point on the Klipspringer drive at Karoo NP (dipped on the cinnamon-breasted warbler though!!).

User avatar
DinkyBird
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 46169
Joined: Thu Dec 30, 2004 5:54 pm
Location: Across the Equator, otherside the Atlantic

Re: Woodpecker: Ground

Unread postby DinkyBird » Sun Oct 19, 2008 9:07 pm

Golden Gate - Oct 2008

Image

Image

And yes, camera was full of dust spots :redface:
Sawubona
Dalene

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Woodpecker: Ground

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Mon Oct 05, 2009 5:28 pm

Golden Gate - seen on 4 consecutive days in different locations. So a sure tick for the park.

Image

Image
On a quest to visit 9 new National Parks in October. :dance:

User avatar
Guinea Pig
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 1766
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2005 12:52 pm
Location: My business...

Re: Woodpecker: Ground

Unread postby Guinea Pig » Tue Jan 22, 2013 8:33 am

Basotho Cultural Village, Golden Gate Highlands NP

Image

Image
On a quest to visit 9 new National Parks in October. :dance:

User avatar
wildtuinman
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 5497
Award: Birder of the Year (2013)
Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 10:27 am
Location: Chasing down the rarities

Re: Woodpecker: Ground

Unread postby wildtuinman » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:15 am

Image
668
Latest Lifer(s): Buff-spotted Flufftail, Tree Pipit, Dimorphic Egret, Lesser Jacana, Citrine Wagtail, Black-tailed Godwit

Follow me as I bird on Twitter @wildtuinman

User avatar
Bush Baptist
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Legendary Virtual Ranger
Posts: 9956
Award: Funniest/Best Forumite Name (2013)
Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:38 pm
Location: In the shadow of Table Mountain

Re: Woodpecker: Ground

Unread postby Bush Baptist » Mon Jun 24, 2013 11:35 am

Anyone know where to look for them in Bontebok NP?
Whatever (according to BB): "You are correct but I don't want to admit it".

naomi c
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2434
Joined: Wed Nov 09, 2005 10:55 am
Location: Centurion

Re: Woodpecker, Ground

Unread postby naomi c » Fri Oct 03, 2014 10:10 am

Image

Image

User avatar
hilda
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2014)
Posts: 14680
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Pretoria SA

Re: Woodpecker, Ground

Unread postby hilda » Fri Oct 03, 2014 4:11 pm

A very special sighting Naomi c! Beautiful! :clap: :clap:

Jan van Wyk
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Distinguished Virtual Ranger
Posts: 4502
Joined: Sun Dec 25, 2011 8:37 pm

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby Jan van Wyk » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:09 pm

Hi

My friend send me this image to ID and I have no Idea....

He took the image in the Golden Gate park last weekend

Appreciate if some one can help with ID?

Image

User avatar
umtali1
Virtual Ranger
Virtual Ranger
Posts: 2691
Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:34 pm
Location: Comberton near Cambridge UK ...2015 trip to SanParks completed

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby umtali1 » Mon Dec 29, 2014 8:51 pm

I think it might be a ground woodpecker.
umtali1

2013 Mokala and KNP http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?t=75574.
"A One Night Stand" current
"Cape Town to Namibia border" - Ebb and Flow, Karoo NP, Mokala, Augrabies & KTP TR's being prepared

User avatar
hilda
Forum Assistant
Forum Assistant
FAC Member (2014)
Posts: 14680
Joined: Fri Apr 06, 2007 6:39 am
Location: Pretoria SA

Re: Identification Help - General Birds

Unread postby hilda » Tue Dec 30, 2014 3:37 am

I agree with Umtali1, Ground Woodpecker. :thumbs_up:


Return to “Birding in Southern Africa”