Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Mombasa Woodpecker (Campethera mombassica)


French: Pic de Mombasa German: Mombasaspecht Spanish: Pito de Mombasa

Picus (Campothera) [sic] mombassicus

G. A. Fischer and Reichenow

, 1884,

Mombasa, Kenya


Closely related to C. abingoni and C. notata. Often treated as conspecific with former, but differs in slightly smaller size (mean wing 106, n=5, vs 114, n=5) (at least 1); greatly reduced buff flecking and barring on upperparts, creating much plainer look (2); pale, vaguely spotted to plain throat vs throat with strong blackish markings which extend around neck sides to form blackish-toned mantle (3); markedly different voice (assume 2). Apparent hybrid individuals, with appearance intermediate between C. abingoni suahelica and present species, recorded from EC Tanzania and from just S of Mt Kilimanjaro; further study desirable. Monotypic.


S Somalia, coastal Kenya (including R Tana inland to Garissa) and NE Tanzania.

Descriptive notes

c. 22 cm; 50–71 g. Male has olive-green forehead and crown feathers with broad red tips, red nape, buffish lores, short white supercilium, whitish sides of head and... read more


Accelerating series ending with short “yuk”, distinctly different from C. abingoni... read more


Coastal forest and woodland.

Food and feeding

Mostly ants and their larvae. Usually found singly; joins mixed feeding parties. Forages at middle and lower levels, in large and small... read more


Season Dec–Feb. Nest-hole in tree; no other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon or rare in Somalia, where few recent records; possibly overlooked among much commoner C. nubica. Locally fairly common in Kenya and... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Mombasa Woodpecker (Campethera mombassica). 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 7 December 2019).