I found this little guy poking around between the weeds in our grass. I'm certainly not an ornithologist, or even a bird-watcher, but based on the look of this bird I'd guess that it's a Woodpecker of sorts.

Please leave a comment here if you know exactly what kind of bird this is.

13 thoughts on “Woodpecker?

  1. Steve Crane

    This is the African Hoepoe. This Google image search reveals several photos of these and also of the Wood Hoepoe, a bird of considerably different appearance to the African Hoepoe.

    I thought all South Africans would recognise these. They are quite common up-country, but I admit to only seeing one or two in the 10 years since we moved down to the Cape so perhaps natives of the Cape are less likely to recognise these.

  2. Paul

    Post author

    A Hoepoe! Ah, thanks guys! Steve, your point is well proved by the fact that (a) Urban Joburg was the first to correctly identify this one, and (b) ChrisM (also from the Cape) at first thought it was a Kingfisher. :)

    But yes, I can confirm that this is the first time I’ve seen a Hoepoe in the Western Cape! Perhaps it’s all the Joburg-like weather we seem to be having.

  3. Ali

    Aaaaawwww, Woodpecker or not: Such a sweet bird. :)

    Since we seem to have some ornithologists here ( :D ), I have question about a special SA bird: Do you know what kind of bird it is, which chirps three short tones in a downscaling way? I heard such a bird every day in the office in Joburg but I never saw it. :(

    By the way: One of the funniest SA birds, in my opinion, is the Go-away bird. :)

  4. Steve Crane

    Ali, the call you describe may belong to the Piet-my-vrou or Red-chested Cuckoo. Visit this site where you can listen to the call and that of many other local birds, including the Grey Go-away-bird you mention, which in Afrikaans is called the Kwe-voel after its call.

  5. Paul

    Post author

    That’s brilliant Steve! It’s 23h15 and I’m driving my cat’s crazy with those bird sounds! The must think it’s morning already. :D

  6. Ali

    Steve, YOU GOT IT!!! It IS the red-chested cuckoo. Thank you so much!!

    Another funny bird is the Hadeda Ibis. I’ve never heard a bird before that makes so much noise. xD

  7. Toni Stohen

    I just saw 1 in my garden! Thought it was a woodpecker at first but then found this page…thanx for clearing that up! Unfortunately it flew off before I could get a photo…

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