Ground Woodpecker ( Geocolaptes olivaceus, family: Picidae)

Ground woodpecker kruger national park birds The Ground Woodpecker (Latin name Geocolaptes olivaceus) is described in Roberts Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition. This bird has a unique Roberts number of 480 and you will find a full description of this bird on page 134 also a picture of the Ground Woodpecker on page 145. The Ground Woodpecker belongs to the family of birds classified as Picidae.

The map of the Kruger you see on this page shows the areas (coloured orange) where this bird has been identified. The basic information was provided by the Avian Demographic Unit based at UCT and I created the maps from that information ... the green dots show the locations of the various Kruger National Park Rest Camps

Endemic species is one that is confined to a specific country or region. For example certain birds endemic to South Africa only exist in that country. One such example is the Ground Woodpecker and this species depends upon a particular habitat for survival. Destroy that habitat and the bird will possibly be lost forever.

In terms of distribution of the Ground Woodpecker in the Kruger National Park you may not see it in all areas. Ground Woodpecker has been recorded in only 1 sections of the arbitrary Kruger Park regions I selected.

Identification assistance for this avian species ...

The Ground Woodpecker is a bird about the same size as a starling. The height of the Ground Woodpecker is about 30 cms and its weight is about 120 gms

You will find that the male Ground Woodpecker plumage and colours are different to that of the female Ground Woodpecker

  • Head is grey.
  • Eye is white.
  • Bill is black.
  • Throat is white.
  • Back is olive.
  • Legs are grey.

This bird has normally proportioned leg length.

Main diet items for this bird ...

The Ground Woodpecker feeds on the ground mainly


Breeding and nesting habits for this bird ...

The Ground Woodpecker is monogamous unless its mate dies. In the event of a partner dying Geocolaptes olivaceus will seek out a new mate

The nesting habit of Ground Woodpecker is to create the nest in a hole in the ground. The bird lays eggs which are white in colour and number between 2 to 4

Habitat and flocking behaviour for this bird ...

The preferred habitats for Ground Woodpecker are: grasslands

You will normally see the Ground Woodpecker in pairs or flocks and not as single birds.

Names of this avian species in other languages ...

Xhosa ... Ungximde

Zulu ... umNqangqandolo

Afrikaans ...Grondspeg

German ... Erdspecht

Portuguese ... Pica-pau-das-rochas

French ... Pic laboureur

Dutch ... Kaapse Grondspecht

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For in-depth birding information please refer to these authoritative avian references ...

Robert's 7th edition number ... 480

The main reference source for this data was "Roberts - Birds of Southern Africa, 7th Edition" . Other references were "Newmans Birds of the Kruger Park" by Keith Newman published circa 1980 . Names in foreign languages were obtained from the Percy Fitzpatrick Institute of African Ornithology, University of Cape Town website ,