Also known as Verreauxia Africana, the African Piculet is one of the impressive bird species that are a big shot for birders on Uganda birding safaris. It belongs to Picidae family.
The African Piculet though normally encountered in Semuliki National Park during birding safaris in Uganda, it also thrives in other African countries such as Cameroon, Angola, Republic of the Congo, Central African Republic, Ivory Coast, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ghana, Gabon, Liberia and Equatorial Guinea.
African piculet is visibly a small bird around 9 – 10cm in length. The male is marked with a reddish forehead and an olive green forehead while the females feature the same color on the forehead and the crown as often encountered during Uganda birding tours. The other upper parts are dark green with a touch of yellow. Its tail and wings are brownish black, the throat and the breast feature darkish gray color compared to the belly that is paler gray. The eyes are red; beak is black while the legs are reddish.
The African piculet habitat is majorly a lowland secondary forest. It carries out foraging through bushes, lower storeys of trees and dense vegetation. Just like woodpecker, it also splits the tree stems in search of beetle larvae despite its small size. The African piculet also consumes insects but has less interest in ants.
Breeding of African piculet normally occurs between June and February. It constructs the nest at 5m from the ground and lays about two (2) eggs. Parenting is done by both parties.
The birding expedition to explore the African piculet can as well be combined with Uganda gorilla trekking safari to Bwindi Impenetrable National Park.
African piculet is listed as species of Least Concern on the red list of International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).