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Rufous-necked Wryneck - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Red-throated Wryneck)

Alternative names: Red-throated Wryneck; Rufous-breasted Wryneck; African Wryneck

Photo by safariranger
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, Johannesburg, South Africa, August 2006
Jynx ruficollis


19cm (7½ in). A small, unusual woodpecker.

  • Mottled grey and brown above
  • Rufous throat and upper breast, extend of rufous variable
  • Rest of underparts whitish with dark shaft streaks
  • Whitish malar are with brown vermiculation
  • Short pointed bill

Sexes similar.

ssp aequatorialis
Photo by volker sthamer
Langano, Ethiopia, March 2010

Similar species

Eurasian Wryneck lacks the rufous throat and has more barred (rather than streaked) underparts.


Patchily distributed in Sub Saharan Africa.
Locally common but often irregular occurence.


Jynx ruficollis has three subspecies[1]:

  • J. r. ruficollis
  • J. r. pulchricollis
  • J. r. aequatorialis


Wooded grassland, savanna, woodland, forest edge, timber plantations and gardens.
Occurs from 600m up to 3000m.



Feeds mainly on ants and their pupae and eggs. Takes also other insects. Forages on tree barks and on the ground.


Breeding season differs through range, often breeds twice a year. The nest is placed in an old barbet hole, a natural cavity or sometimes in a nestbox or another artifical cavity. Lays 3 to 4 eggs.


A resident in parts of its range, nomadic in others. Movements are poorly understood.


Recording by jstanleyg
Ethiopia, August 2016


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334375

Recommended Citation

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