Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Near Threatened

Knysna Woodpecker (Campethera notata)


French: Pic tigré German: Knysnaspecht Spanish: Pito de Knysna

Picus notatus

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1823,

southern South Africa


Closely related to C. abingoni and C. mombassica. Variation in plumage darkness and markings rather large, but based on individual rather than geographical differences, so that no races are recognizable. Monotypic.


S South Africa from S Western Cape (Swellendam region) E to extreme S KwaZulu-Natal.

Descriptive notes

20–22 cm; 62 g. Male has red forehead to nape, feathers of forehead with extensive dark olive-brown bases, buffish-white lores, narrow white supercilium with dark... read more


Common call an almost whistled “wliee” or “peeeah”, weaker but shriller... read more


Inhabits light forest, evergreen forest, and dense bush; also riparian woodland and dry thornbush;... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly ants and their brood, also wood-boring beetles and their larvae. Occurs singly or in pairs, also in small family parties;... read more


Aug–Nov (mainly Oct). Pairs widely spaced. Nest excavated by both sexes, in dead (much less frequently live) trunk or branch of tree... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Restricted-range species: present in South African Forests EBA. Locally common; unobtrusive, but no current... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Knysna Woodpecker (Campethera notata). 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 22 January 2020).