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Iberian Green Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by J. H. Johns
Algarve, Portugal, November 2010
Picus sharpei


Photo © by J. H. Johns
Algarve, Portugal, November 2010
Photo © by ggarcias2
Petrer Alicante, Spain, 7 April 2009

31–33 cm (12¼-13 in)

  • Forehead to nape red.
  • Lores blackish.
  • Red malar stripe narrowly bordered black
  • Ear-coverts and side of neck grey.
  • Upperparts green.
  • Rump and uppertail-coverts yellowish.
  • Primaries blackish with white spots.
  • Secondaries and tertials yellowish-olive with some paler spotting.
  • Tail blackish with green edges, outer feathers dark greenish with dull barring.
  • Chin and throat grey with hints of yellowish.
  • Underparts pale greenish-white or light greyish.
  • Lower flanks with indistinct bars or chevrons.
  • Undertail coverts washed light yellow-buff.
  • Underwing greenish-white with soft darker barring.
  • Bill medium length bill grey or blackish, paler base to lower mandible.
  • Iris white to pinkish.
  • Legs olive-grey.

Female Differs from male in having malar stripe all black and often with more obvious pale edge above, crown with more grey tips.
Juvenile is duller than adult, has side of head to breast heavily dark-spotted, mantle and upper back with paler speckles and bars, rump barred, underparts heavily barred dark, eyes darker.

Similar Species

Appears intermediate between Eurasian Green Woodpecker and Levaillant's Woodpecker.,


Pyrenees, Iberia and extreme southern France (irregularly from Pyrénées-Atlantiques to Hérault).


Recently split from Eurasian Green Woodpecker


This is a monotypic species[1].


Requires some mature trees and clearings with adjacent grassland. Also occurs in plantations, orchards, farmland and pastures, parks and garden; occasionally also grassy dunes.


Usually solitary or in pairs, feeds mainly on the ground.


Excavates nest hole in tree. The clutch consists of 5-8 eggs. Incubation and care of young by both parents.


Mainly of terrestrial ants; also oher small invertebrates, both ground-dwelling and arboreal. Small amounts of fruit. Forages solitarily, in pairs, and in family groups. Seeks food mostly on ground but sometimes ascends into trees.


Main call a low “kyack” sometimes repeated. Distinctive laughing song in breeding season increasing in volume and then decreasing and tailing off. Generally somewhat higher-pitched and faster than that of P. viridis, but differences not always obvious. Drums rarely.


Resident; some local movements outside breeding season.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill F, D Donsker & P Rasmussen (Eds). 2020. IOC World Bird List (v10.1). doi : 10.14344/IOC.ML.10.1. Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/
  3. del Hoyo, J., N. Collar, D.A. Christie, and C.J. Sharpe (2020). Iberian Green Woodpecker (Picus sharpei), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D.A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.grnwoo3.01

External Links

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