Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Melancholy Woodpecker (Dendropicos lugubris)


Taxonomy

French: Pic à raies noires German: Düsterspecht Spanish: Pito lúgubre
Taxonomy:

Dendropicus lugubris

Hartlaub

, 1857,

Aguapim, Ghana

.

Closely related to D. gabonensis and sometimes treated as conspecific, a view supported by the fact that race reichenowi of latter (in Nigeria and Cameroon) is somewhat intermediate between present species and nominate D. g. gabonensis, and indeed was formerly considered to belong instead to present species; present species, however, differs from D. g. reichenowi in its broader, browner vs narrower, blacker streaks on breast and flanks, and including malar (2); plain brown vs grey-streaked black ear-coverts (2); black tail with black shaft streaks vs green-brown tail with pale brown shaft streaks (2); slightly larger size (mean bill 19.2, n=5, vs 18.1, n=5) (1). Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Distribution:

Sierra Leone to Togo and SW Nigeria#R.

Descriptive notes

c. 17–18 cm. Male has olive-brown forehead and crown, red nape, thin white supercilium, brown ear-coverts, white neck sides and broad white cheekstripe, broad brown... read more

Voice

Common call a drawn-out buzzing note, as that of D. gabonensis; also fast rattle, “... read more

Habitat

Open forest, second growth, forest edge, clearings, also Gmelina woodland; also gallery... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including ants, beetle larvae. Usually in pairs or family parties; often joins mixed-species foraging flocks. Forages mainly in... read more

Breeding

Oct–Mar in Sierra Leone; nestlings found in Mar and Apr in Liberia. Nest-hole at 15–30 m in dead tree branch or dead part of... read more

Movements

Resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rather uncommon throughout relatively small range. Common in Sierra Leone. Locally not uncommon to common in Liberia, where estimated 50,000 pairs.... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2017). Melancholy Woodpecker (Dendropicos lugubris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/56198 on 25 June 2017).