French: Pic laboureur German: Erdspecht Spanish: Pito terrestre
J. F. Gmelin
Cape of Good Hope, South Africa
Subspecies and Distribution
G. o. olivaceus
(J. F. Gmelin, 1788) – W South Africa S from W & C Northern Cape.
G. o. prometheus
Clancey, 1952 – E South Africa from SE Western Cape NE to Mpumalanga, W Swaziland and Lesotho.
22–30 cm; 105–134 g. Male has brownish-grey forehead and crown, browner nape often with slight trace of red, grey sides of head and neck, dark grey malar with... read more
Loud, harsh “peer, peer, peer” or “pee-aa-r-g-h” screams when flushed; loud... read more
Open rocky terrain in uplands, including grassy boulder-strewn slopes and hillsides, open grassland... read more
Food and feeding
Highly specialized on ants, ant broods and alates; termites (Isoptera), beetles and other insects, and mites (Acari) also taken. Ants of... read more
Aug–Sept in Cape Province and Transvaal; Jul–Dec, mainly Oct–Nov, in Natal. Single-brooded. In pairs or trios,... read more
Status and conservation
Not globally threatened. Common in most of range. Its use of essentially unthreatened, often remote, habitats implies that species is probably secure in most areas, although... read more
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