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Golden-tailed Woodpecker

Golden-tailed Woodpecker
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-10-08
Categories: Birds
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-02-15 9:07
Viewed: 6626
Favorites: 1 [view]
Points: 74
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Golden-tailed Woodpecker / Campethera abingoni

The Cardinal Woodpecker is the 38th in the series of the birds of the Kruger National Park, which I am currently sharing. Enjoy!

I was very fortunate to photograph this lovely bird on the same day I photographed the Honey badger which I shared a few weeks ago. That was also the day of my birthday and I could not have chosen a more ideal birthday gift. Two surprises on one day.

We stopped to collect our bungalow's keys at the Letaba camp's reception where we were going to sleep the night, when we saw this fellow pecking on the tree next to the car. Needles to say that the keys were forgotten for a while as both Loot and I eagerly started photographing this beauty. It was the 1st time I encountered so closely with this lovely bird and I could not let the moment pass without getting a few photos.

General Overview
A medium-sized woodpecker, with a dirty looking face. Size 19-23cm. In Afrikaans it is called a Goudstertspeg.

As with other woodpeckers, the bill is straight, short and chisel like. It is grey in colour with a darker tip. The feet are greenish-grey. The eye is red.

As with most woodpeckers, the back is a yellowish olive green marked with creamy bars and spots. On the tail, the pale bars are golden-yellow and wider, giving the effect of a golden tail. The under parts have vertical blackish streaking, and this and the facial pattern are most important for identification of woodpeckers.

In the Golden-tailed Woodpecker, the male has a red top to the head, with the forehead spotted with small black spots. The female has the forehead and mid-crown spotted white on black, and the hind crown and nape is red. This species has a small moustachial stripe from the base of the bill back towards the side of the neck - that of the male being dark red, and the females is black with fine white spots. The face of this species is white with extensive fine black streaking on cheeks and throat.

The Golden-tailed Woodpecker is found in woodland, from forests to forest edges, riverine woodland and open savannah and bushveld. It is a common bird of the eastern woodlands, and may also be encountered in the Durban or Johannesburg areas.

It is usually seen in pairs or singly. They spend much of the time clambering about on the main branches of trees, searching for insects. As they have two toes pointing forward and two toes pointing back, they are able to move up vertical tree trunks easily, and move up branches with a shuffling hop, the body staying parallel with the branch they are on.

They eat insects, particularly ants and their larvae. As with other woodpeckers, they will quite often be heard tapping on tree trunks. The main call note is a wailing single "waaa".

They nest mainly from September to November. It nests in a hole in a tree, which is excavated by the birds. They usually excavate a new nest hole every year, and the hole is often situated on the underside of a sloped tree trunk. They are sometimes confused with: Cardinal Woodpecker, Bearded Woodpecker, Bennett's Woodpecker and the Knysna Woodpecker. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

ralfsworld, marius-secan, Dis. Ac., PeterZ, kapildk, joska, CeltickRanger, maaciejka, KOMSIS, lousat, Argus, dmark11, ana974, ramthakur, maurydv, paolo49, siggi, anel, uleko, Alex99, Luis52 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna
Excellent action shot of this beautiful woody. I guess I had to check rest of the 37 birds from Kruger National Park.


Hello Anna,
A fantastic capture of my favorite bird (woodpecker).
This is a splendid image with very nice colors and outstanding details.
Wonderful capture. Thanks for sharing!

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-02-15 9:14]

Hello Anna,
Fantastic photo of this Cardinal Woodpecker. The 38th in the series is another photo in high quality. The details in the feathers are gorgeous. Beautiful natural colours. The tree is also very beautiful. Excellent composition, depth of field and OOF BG.

Hello Anna,

an very nice photo from this beautiful woodpecker.
Good of sharpness and pov.
You let us everytime be seen how you managrd it with your point and shoot camera.
Fine colors.


Hi anna,

Nice picture of this woodpecker in perfect pose.
The bird really works hard for food. Very well captured & good note too.
Welldone & TFS.


Hi Anna,
Wonderful wood pecker image. Excellant pov and focus. It's nice that you captured the entire bird, sometimes the tail gets lost around the other side of the tree.
It's gorgeous, well done.

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  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-02-15 9:29]

Hi Anna,
Excellent photo of this Golden-tailed Woodpecker in very difficult light condition, very usefu presentation too, TFS!

  • Great 
  • Arjun Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 358 W: 7 N: 1237] (7593)
  • [2011-02-15 9:38]

this is beautiful...
lovely details the way the claws are pressed are amazing

hello Anna
A super picture of this bird
great details very nice pose and beautiful colours make,s this picture very good
greeting lou

Hallo Anna,
Beautiful activity. I cannot stop looking and watching as he pecks away. The colours and texture and composition just make of this a fabulous image. Well done.

hello Anna

excellent close-up photo of this species of Woodpecker,
fine POV and appropriate framing, great focus
sharpness and details of its plumage,
beautiful bokeh of the background, TFS


Hi Anna,
what a nice photo of this woodpecker. Amazing colours. Perfect sharpness. Very good composition. Nice peaceful background on the left side.
Thanks for sharing.

Cioa Anna. Good POV for this coloured one in action. Excellente sharp and beautiful natural colours.


Ciao Anna, lovely woodpeacker in nice action, splendid colors, fine details and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

impressive close up Anne, beautiful action moment!
TFS Nasos

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2011-02-15 10:52]

Hi Anna,
Bird Beak Drill!
Fine details, excellent sharpness and splendid colors.
Best wishes,

Its a beauty of a bird, excellent photograph! regards Yiannis

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2011-02-15 11:43]

Hi Anna,what a beautiful specie.And what a fantastic pic taken in a terrible backlight,you and your camera show us the muscles today..ehehe...very impressive sharpness and beautiful colors....and a great composition too.Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-02-15 12:35]

Hello Anna,
A superb portrait of this species of Woopecker.
The pose on the tree trunk is classic and well captured from an ideal POV with excellent sharpness, natural colours and exposure. The lighter OOF natural BG provides a nice contrast in this well composed image.
Interesting to see the use of the stiff tail feathers as additional support while he is looking for insects in the bark1
Thanks and kind regards,

congratulations for the capture, wonderful subject, excellent details,

have a good day !

ciao, tino

  • Great 
  • ana974 Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 477 W: 48 N: 968] (4857)
  • [2011-02-15 14:06]

Hello Anna,
How are you? Happy birthday even late!
I loved this pic! Nice colors and sharpness.
Best regards,

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  • PeakXV Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 121 W: 0 N: 544] (3135)
  • [2011-02-15 14:38]

Hello Anna,

What an odd, beautiful looking bird. I like the way it blends in with the bark of the tree & the contrast with the otherwise background greenery. Beautiful focus & composition. Splendid eye icing for anybody's cake!

Kind regards,

This Woodpecker is a looker, Anna. Four distinct shades of enticing colours make this bird so very beautiful -- a red 'scull cap', grey and white 'shirt', speckled 'cloak' and striped
'golden tail'. The gnarled old tree is testimony to the kind of work this bird does on such trees.
A perfect portrait done with outstanding technical excellence.
Kudos and best regards!

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  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2011-02-16 2:19]

Hello Anna,
very sharp shot of this woody. The colours are outstanding and you really shown it very well. The texture of the tree bark is so complementing in giving your shot a stunning one.
How I like the stripes and the dotted body and wings.
Very well executed presentation.


Hallo Anna,
a superb capture of a fantastic Woodpecker, very good sharpness, perfect exposure with very beautiful colours tones and pleasant contrast, excellent POV and composition
Best regards

Hello Anna,

This is an amazing capture of this lovely fellow!
I have a couple of woodpecker species living in my neighbourhood, but this one I have never seen before...
However the characteristics are typical woodpecker, I won't mention the obvious but the funny way it uses the tail for support - all woodpeckers do that!
Fine action captured, pin sharp details and the colour palette is well reproduced!

Pablo -

Hello Anna, very nice picture of this woodpecker, perfect shooting light and details. A very good image. All the best, Paolo

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2011-02-16 3:56]

Beautiful species and well captured with fine details on the bird, the colors too have come out well in this lighting conditions. tfs.

Superb captured. This is a very rear species, good sharpness and perfect ambience.

Beautiful photo Anna! The composition is excellent and the colours are fantastic..

Hi Anna
Great photo
Good depth of field control for the background
Sharp subject
Excellent detail
Nice eye catchlight
Well done!

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2011-02-17 12:46]

Hello Anna.
Beautifull shot of the woodpecker classic pose nice POV lovelly colouring and well taken.I liked POV,details,colors and sharpness a lot.Best regards Siggi

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  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2011-02-20 18:38]

Hello Anna,
I have to say the colors of this particular woodpecker is beautiful yet unusual too. It really does seem to have a dirty face and his bloodshot eye makes him look as if he had a little too much to drink.
I like the fact that you captured him while he was intently at work. The detail is great and the vertical composition is very attractive. A wonderful birthday present. Well done!!

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2011-02-22 5:08]

Hello Anna,
Very natural picture of this beautiful and busy Golden-tailed Woodpecker. I like woodpeckers in general and the plumage of this species has very interesting colors and patterns. I would habe ben happy too to have the opportunity to take a shot of it. Thanks also for the note.
Kind regards

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  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2011-02-22 6:08]

Hello Anna,
An excellent close-up of this beautiful Woodpecker at work on the tree trunk. Great details and beautiful colours of the plumage. I like the llight background too that makes it stand out.
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hi Anna,
Fantastic photo. Superbly presented woodpecker, great show and plumage coloration. Highly visible effect of his work.

  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2011-02-23 4:30]

Hi Anna.
It is my old dream to picture woodpecker. However, I have only few poor shots of the species. Yours is great. Despite the shadows picture is coloured finely and details are ultimate. Light BG supplements the image of the bird very good and at whole image produces a fine impression. Well done and warm wishes.

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2011-02-24 11:06]

Hola Anna.
You know I really love Woodpeackers, but never seen this beauty before. He is in his own work.
Lovely photo dear Anna.
TFS the photo and great information.

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