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

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

The Sandton Field Guide - Author: Sandton Nature Conservation Society - Published: 1982 - Page: 53

Wild About Johannesburg - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 1995 - Page: 48

The Birds of South Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Dr. Austin Roberts - Published: 1949 - Page: 185

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 3rd Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1975 - Page: 309

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 4th Edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1981 - Page: 324

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

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

Sasol Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair et al. - Published: 1993 - Page: 268

Southern African Wildlife - Author: Readers Digest - Published: 1989 - Page: 177

The Birds of South Africa - Author: Hazel Stokes - Published: 1979 - Page: 30

Southern African Bird Names Explained - Author: Charles Clinning - Published: 1989 - Page: 48

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

Meeting with Birds - Author: Tom Spence - Published: 1986 - Page: 75

Newmans Birds of Southern Africa - 1st Edition - Author: Ken Newman - Published: 1984 - Page: 268

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

Questions and Answers - Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Deirdre Richards - Published: 1990 - Page: 13

Roberts Birds of South Africa - 2nd edition - Author: McLachlan and Liversidge - Published: 1957 - Page: 241

Ian Sinclairs Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: Ian Sinclair - Published: 1988 - Page: 196

Geoff Lockwoods Garden Birds of Southern Africa - Author: Geoff Lockwood - Published: 0 - Page: 61

Garden Birds in South Africa - Author: Duncan Butchart - Published: 2017 - Page: 78

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

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

Birds of the Transvaal - Author: Tarboton, Kemp and Kemp - Published: 1987 - Page: 160

Birds of the Transkei - Author: C.D. Quickelberge - Published: 1989 - Page: 81

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

Birds of the South Western Cape - Author: Joy Frandsen - Published: 0 - Page: 143

A Field Guide to the Birds of Southern Africa - 2nd Edition - Author: O.P.M. Prozesky - Published: 1983 - Page: 191

A First Guide to South African Birds - 6th Edition - Author: Leonard Gill - Published: 1959 - Page: 90

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

Bird Atlas of Natal - Author: Digby Cyrus and Nigel Robson - Published: 1980 - Page: 178

Birds of Southern Africa - Kruger National Park - Author: Kenneth Newman - Published: 1985 - Page: 144

BirdLife South Africa


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