Woody woodpecker

I noticed this striking bird the other day (another member of the menagerie in my new garden) and after watching it for a while saw that it kept going back to a fig tree next to the house. On closer inspection, it turns out that there is a perfectly round hole in the trunk and a nest, complete with youngster, inside.

Is this a woodpecker?  Its the only bird I know that makes a nest in a tree trunk.

Woody woodpecker

Woody woodpecker

Mom, I'm hungry!

Mom, I'm hungry!




8 Responses to Woody woodpecker

  1. mol-d February 27, 2010 at 10:23 am #

    cool pics, smile! i didn’t think we got woodpeckers in south africa but looks like we get loads:


    can’t see your guy on there though…

  2. emme February 27, 2010 at 11:19 am #

    we quite often have woodpeckers in our garden (a slowly rotting avo tree means lots of, um, grub -haha) but none of them look like this. their beak is usually must more daggar like that it appear in these photo’s. your guy looks to me like a golden rumped tinker barbet.

  3. mol-d March 1, 2010 at 12:10 pm #

    good joke, em! 🙂 is this confirmed then? a golden-rumped tinker barbet…? what a name!

  4. Smile March 1, 2010 at 12:37 pm #

    Confirmed by Rose on the Buzz

    Rosemary Lombard – Hi Smile, have looked in my parents’ bird books and it appears you have a Goldenrumped Tinker Barbet infestation. 😉 So cool!

  5. emme March 3, 2010 at 12:53 pm #

    me so clever! 🙂

  6. bryan March 7, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    Yes, well done you avid twitchers! It is indeed the very rare and elusive golden humped tinker barbet. I have never seen this bird before. Hundreds of the species, but not this one.

    Good spot , good photos, pretty bird!

  7. shaggy March 7, 2010 at 9:34 pm #

    The initial hole was probably made by a woodpecker though. The Barbet has taken advantage of a good nest. I don’t think that the Barbets beak can withstand the pecking to make this kind of nest.

    Nice pics Niall

  8. Toastie November 2, 2010 at 2:48 pm #


    For the record barbets like the above Tinker Barbet or the Black Collared Barbet ( they have a red face; males darker and more vivid than females; you often hear a mating pair dueting “snaa goo goo” in the spring time with their mates) do often make the holes themselves. Their beaks are perfectly designed ( Darwin would be proud) to both chip away at bark to reveal juicy grubs and other snacks and also to chisel into wood but usually softer dead and rotting branches or stumps.

    We had a pair breeding in an old tree stump in our garden in Durban North, many years ago.


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