Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Maghreb Green Woodpecker (Picus vaillantii)


French: Pic de Levaillant German: Atlasgrünspecht Spanish: Pito real bereber
Other common names: Levaillant's Woodpecker

Chloropicus Vaillantii


, 1847,



Usually considered conspecific with P. viridis and P. sharpei; differs from latter (geographically and morphologically closer) in its black vs red malar on male (3); whitish vs blackish area from commissure below lores back along cheek above malar (2); blackish-grey crown of female, with red only on hindcollar (2); dark-and-pale-green barring from belly to vent (ns[1]). Monotypic.


NW Morocco to NW Tunisia.

Descriptive notes

30–32 cm; one male 166 g. Male has forehead to nape red with a few grey flecks, black malar stripe bordered above by fairly broad whitish line from lower loral area to lower... read more


Song a fast series of whistled notes, “kee-kee-kee…” or “pee-pee-pee-pee…”, somewhat higher-pitched... read more


Open dry forest. Occurs in openings and clearings of oak (Quercus faginea) and cedar (... read more

Food and feeding

Little detailed information. Diet mostly of ants, also other small invertebrates; some fruit taken. Forages mostly on ground.


Laying end Mar to Jun. Nest excavated in tree, hole c. 40–50 cm deep. Clutch 4–8 eggs, usually 6 or 7; no information on incubation and... read more


Resident; some local post-breeding dispersal.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common in Tunisia and Algeria, local in Morocco; scarce in forests of aleppo pine in WC Tunisia. Appears to have decreased in numbers, but... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Maghreb Green Woodpecker (Picus vaillantii). 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 10 December 2019).