Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Critically Endangered

Okinawa Woodpecker (Dendrocopos noguchii)


French: Pic d’Okinawa German: Okinawaspecht Spanish: Pito de Okinawa
Other common names: Pryer's Woodpecker

Picus noguchii


, 1887,

Okinawa, Ryukyu Islands


Previously placed in monotypic genus Sapheopipo, but mtDNA analysis indicates that it is embedded within Dendrocopos, with D. leucotos and D. major as close relatives#R. Monotypic.


Okinawa, in S Ryukyu Is.

Descriptive notes

31–35 cm. Male has forehead to nape red with blackish feather bases visible, pale buffish-brown nasal tufts, lores and line above eye, darker and browner ear-coverts... read more


Long irregular series of clear whistled notes, “kwe kwe kwe” or “pwip pwip... read more


Occupies undisturbed, mature subtropical evergreen broadleaf forest in C mountain range of Yambaru... read more

Food and feeding

Large arthropods, beetle larvae (e.g. Cerambycidae), moths, spiders, centipedes; observed feeding gecko to nestlings. Fruits, berries and... read more


Laying from late Feb to May, typically in Mar–Apr; nestlings present up to Jun. Nest-hole excavated in large old tree at least 20 cm... read more



Status and conservation

CRITICALLY ENDANGERED. Restricted-range species: present in Nansei Shoto EBA. Extremely small breeding population estimated at a maximum of 70–80 individuals in early... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A., Kirwan, G.M. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Okinawa Woodpecker (Dendrocopos noguchii). 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 25 February 2020).