Ground Woodpecker

Geocolaptes olivaceus (endemic)

From a birder’s perspective, these large, olive-grey woodpeckers are interesting for a few reasons: firstly, they are the largest woodpecker our country has to offer, secondly they are one of only three ground-dwelling woodpeckers in the world, and thirdly and most importantly, they are endemic to southern Africa.
Personally, I think they are cool for their raucous call, their random posturing and the way they seem to peer at you curiously when you try to indiscreetly sneak up on them.

Found on rocky hill slopes, I first recorded this species while looking for Cape Rockjumper in March 2012 at Rooi Els in the Western Cape. A reliable spot to see them is Giants Castle in the central Drakensberg.


Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giant’s Castle, Central Drakensberg, South Africa / October 2017 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Sani-Pass-(before-the-border)-1-061-Ground-Woodpecker Sani-Pass-(before-the-border)-1-081-Ground-Woodpecker-BEST Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Oaklands-Country-Manor-070-RAW-LB-V Ground Woodpecker / Giant’s Castle, Central Drakensberg, South Africa / October 2017 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Oaklands-Country-Manor-115-RAW Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Rooi-Els, South Africa / 12 March 2012 Ground Woodpecker / Rooi-Els, South Africa / 12 March 2012 Ground Woodpecker / Giants Castle, Drakensberg, South Africa / 29 March 2013 Ground Woodpecker / Rooi-Els, South Africa / 12 March 2012
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