Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Speckle-breasted Woodpecker (Dendropicos poecilolaemus)


French: Pic à poitrine tachetée German: Tropfenspecht Spanish: Pito cuellipinto

Dendropicus [sic] poecilolaemus


, 1893,

Sconga, west of Lake Albert [DRCongo]




Extreme S Nigeria (Serti) and C Cameroon E through Central African Republic and NE DRCongo to S South Sudan, W & C Uganda, Rwanda and W Kenya (Nandi and Kabarnet).

Descriptive notes

c. 15 cm; 25–30 g. Male has brown forehead to mid-crown, red hindcrown and nape, white ear-coverts and neck sides streaked brown, brown-streaked malar stripe better... read more


Dry “che che che che che”.


Forest edge and clearings, especially those bordering cultivations with trees; also upland savanna... read more

Food and feeding

Diet comprises beetle larvae, caterpillars, ants. Occurs singly or in pairs. Forages on dead trees; often visits isolated trees, even... read more


Season May–Sept in Zaire; Mar–Sept and Nov–Jan in Uganda. Nest excavated in tree. No other information.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common. Uncommon and local in Kenya. Rather poorly known. Research needed on its breeding biology.

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Speckle-breasted Woodpecker (Dendropicos poecilolaemus). 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 24 January 2020).