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African Grey Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

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Male, Nominate subspecies
Photo by volker sthamer
Lake Manyara, Tanzania, September 2017

Alternative name: Grey Woodpecker

Dendropicos goertae


Photo by scottishdude
The Gambia, March 2010

20 cm (7¾ in)

  • Grey forehead
  • Red hindcrown and nape, sometimes speckled with grey
  • Grey plumage on rest of head
  • Green upperparts
  • Grey underparts


Senegal to southern Sudan, Uganda, and Angola.



Four subspecies recognized[1]:

  • D. g. abessinicus:
  • D. g. goertae:
  • D. g. meridionalis:
  • D. g. koenigi:


Male, Subspecies abessinicus
Photo by barty63
Debre Libanos, Ethiopia, June 2011

A variety of woodland types; riverine, gardens, forest edges, wooded grassland and pastures



Their diet consists mostly of insects, such as termites and beetle larvae. They have also been observed in mangroves hunting crabs.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2014. IOC World Bird Names (version 4.3). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved Dec 2017)
  4. BF Member observations

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