Nubian Woodpecker

Campethera nubica

Nubian Woodpecker, Campethera nubica, photo © by Michael Plagens.

Probing a termite-riddled fence post near Lake Baringo, Rift Valley, Kenya. Oct. 2016. Notice how the long, powerful toes and the tail serve to stabilize the bird as it works into the wood.

From Wikipedia: The Nubian woodpecker is a medium-sized species growing to a length of about 21 cm. The male has a red crown and nape and a reddish streak on the cheek, while the female has a black crown speckled with white, a red nape, and a dark cheek stripe with white speckling. In other respects, the sexes are similar. The upper parts are olive-brown with much cream speckling and barring. The wings are greenish-brown barred with white and the tail greenish-yellow barred with brown, the shafts of the feathers being gold. The throat is cream and the head, neck, breast and belly are white, spotted and barred with black. The beak is grey with a dark tip, the eye red or pink, the orbital ring grey and the feet olive or grey.

Nubian Woodpecker, Campethera nubica, photo © Michael Plagens

Picidae -- Woodpecker Family


  • Birds of Kenya and Northern Tanzania by Zimmerman et al.
  • Birds of East Africa by Stevenson and Fanshawe

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 30 Dec. 2016