Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Fire-bellied Woodpecker (Dendropicos pyrrhogaster)


French: Pic à ventre de feu German: Rotbauchspecht Spanish: Pito ventrirrojo

Picus (Chloropicus) Pyrrhogaster


, 1845,

South Africa; error = Sierra Leone


Often placed, along with D. namaquus and D. xantholophus, in a separate genus Thripias#R, or, more recently, all three placed in Chloropicus (which has priority)#R. Monotypic.


Sierra Leone and S Guinea E to S Nigeria (Niger Delta) and SW Cameroon.

Descriptive notes

c. 24 cm; 63–74 g. Male has brownish-black forehead, red crown to nape, rarely buffish yellow in crown centre, black feather bases more obvious in worn plumage; white... read more


Sharp “wip”; rattling “wip-wi-di-di-di-di-dit” as long-distance call. Drums... read more


Inhabits primary and secondary forest in lowlands and on lower slopes, as well as Khaya,... read more

Food and feeding

Diet consists of insects, larvae of beetles and white ants. Often forages in pairs; will join mixed-species flocks. Forages in upper levels... read more


Nov–Feb in Sierra Leone; Nov–Mar, also nestlings once in Jul, in Liberia; breeds Oct–Mar, possibly from Aug/Sept, in... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common. Not uncommon in Sierra Leone; not uncommon in Liberia, where densities of > 3 pairs/km², estimated population 60,000 pairs... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Fire-bellied Woodpecker (Dendropicos pyrrhogaster). 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 on 14 November 2019).