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African Piculet
07 25 030 Sasia africana m
Male
Information
Range Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Republic of the Congo, and Uganda.
Scientific Classification
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Aves
Order Piciformes
Family Picidae
Genus Sasia
Species Sasia africana
Conservation Status
LCSpecies
Least Concern

The African piculet (Sasia africana), is a species of piculet in the Picidae family. It is sometimes placed in the monotypic genus Verreauxia. It is found in Angola, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ivory Coast, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Ghana, Liberia, Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. This species is described as locally common and has a very large range, so the International Union for Conservation of Nature has rated its conservation status as being of "least concern".

Description

The African piculet is a small bird some 9 to 10 cm (3.5 to 3.9 in) long. The male has a chestnut or reddish forehead and a greyish-green or olive-green crown whereas the forehead in the female is the same colour as the crown. The rest of the upper parts are rather dark green tinged with yellow. The wings and tail are brownish-black. The throat and breast are darkish grey and the belly is a slightly paler grey. The beak is black, the eye red and the legs reddish. The juvenile is similar to the adult but has grey or buffy tones mixed into the general hue of the plumage.

Ecology

The habitat of the African piculet is mainly lowland secondary forest. It is an active bird often seen flitting from place to place in pairs or threesomes, and sometimes joining mixed species flocks. It forages through the lower storeys of trees, bushes and dense vegetation. It is a relative of the woodpecker, and despite its small size, hammers its beak into branches and splits stems to get at beetle larvae. It also gleans other insects but seems uninterested in ants. Breeding has been observed between June and February in various parts of its range. The nest is built within five metres of the ground and the clutch size is usually two. Both parents are involved in raising the young.

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