Grey Woodpecker

Anne-Marie Bokslag

Haarlem, Netherlands

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Artist's Description

The Grey Woodpecker, Mesopicos goertae, is a widespread and frequently common resident breeder in much of Sub-Saharan and equatorial Africa. It is a species associated with forest and bush which nests in a tree hole, often in an Oil Palm, laying two to four eggs.

Like other woodpeckers, this species has a straight pointed bill, a stiff tail to provide support against tree trunks, and zygodactyl or “yoked" feet, with two toes pointing forward, and two backward. The long tongue can be darted forward to capture insects.

This bird is 20cm in length. It is a typical woodpecker shape, and has unmarked green upperparts and a pale grey head and underparts. The rump is red, and there is a small red belly patch. The short tail is blackish.

The adult male Grey Woodpecker has a red crown. Females have a plain grey head, lacking the red crown. Young birds are like the female, but the reds are paler, and there may be some flank barring.

Like other woodpeckers, this species is an insectivore. It is frequently seen, and regularly taps or drums. The call is a loud and fast peet-peet-peet-peet.

Picture made near Georgetown in The Gambia

Camera: Canon EOS 7D
Lens: Sigma Zoomlens 50-500mm Ca F/4.5-6.3 DG APO
Exposure time 1/20s
Aperture value f/8
ISO 800
Focal length 400 mm

Artwork Comments

desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait
desktop tablet-landscape content-width tablet-portrait workstream-4-across phone-landscape phone-portrait

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