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 replies on “Woody woodpecker”

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.

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

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!

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!

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


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.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *