Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Tullberg's Woodpecker (Campethera tullbergi)


French: Pic de Tullberg German: Tullbergspecht Spanish: Pito de Tullberg

Campothera [sic] Tullbergi


, 1892,



In recent times usually considered conspecific with C. taeniolaema owing to “close structural similarity”, but former treatment as distinct species preferred here on account of head below crown minutely peppered grey on whitish, becoming tiny grey-brown mottling across pale yellowish breast and semi-barred flanks to undertail-coverts with mostly plain pale yellow mid-belly vs all of this area densely barred yellowish-stone and dusky-brown (at least 3); presence of red flecking on lesser coverts (shoulder) (2); female with black vs maroon lores (1); longer bill (effect size 3.32; score 2). Proposed races bansoensis and wellsi (Banso Mts, in W Cameroon) and poensis and insularis (Bioko) are synonyms of tullbergi. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

SE Nigeria (Obudu Plateau), W Cameroon and Bioko.

Descriptive notes

c. 18–20 cm; 43–66 g. Male has black-based forehead and crown feathers broadly tipped red, red nape; rest of head whitish with dense fine black spots, neck sides... read more


Series of “kweek” calls. May drum very occasionally.


Moist mountain forest at 900–3000 m. Appears to prefer ravines and edges, but also visits... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly ants; also caterpillars. Occurs singly or in pairs; joins mixed-species flocks. Forages in the canopy, where it probes into... read more


Laying probably Oct–Nov, sometimes extending to Feb; bird in post-breeding moult in Apr in Cameroon. Nest excavated in tree. No... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Rather uncommon; locally perhaps fairly common. A little-known woodpecker; difficult to observe, as it generally forages at high... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Tullberg's Woodpecker (Campethera tullbergi). 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 17 November 2019).