Iberian Green Woodpecker

Picus sharpei - Pic de Sharpe

  • Order 


  • Family


  • Genus


  • Species



Saunders, H, 1872

  • Size
    : 33 cm
  • Wingspan
    : 40 à 42 cm.
  • Weight
    : 180 à 220 g
Geographic range



Pic de Sharpe
♂ adult plum. breeding
Pic de Sharpe
♀ subadult

Formerly considered a subspecies of the Green Woodpecker Picus viridis sharpei, genetic studies show that this form is a species in its own right. Iberian Green Woodpecker differs from its very close Green Woodpecker relative in the absence of black around the eye and unstreaked undertail coverts. The black line around the male's red mustache is very thin, often invisible from a distance. The crown feathers are a different red from those of the Green Woodpecker.

Subspecific information monotypic species

Foreign names

  • Pic de Sharpe,
  • Pito real ibérico,
  • peto-real-ibérico,
  • Iberiengrünspecht,
  • Iberische Groene Specht,
  • Picchio di Sharpe,
  • iberisk gröngöling,
  • Iberiaspett,
  • žlna pyrenejská,
  • žluna iberská,
  • Iberisk Grønspætte,
  • picot verd ibèric,
  • dzięcioł iberyjski,
  • Дятел Шарпа,
  • イベリアオゲラ,
  • 伊比利亚绿啄木鸟,
  • 伊比利亞綠啄木,

Voice song and cries

Pic de Sharpe
♂ juvenile

The song is faster and sharper than that of the Iberian Green Woodpecker.


Pic de Sharpe
♂ adult plum. breeding

Like the Iberian Green Woodpecker, the Pic de Sharpe needs old trees and cleared grasslands. It is present from the coast (for example around the Etang de Canet in the Pyrenees Orientales) and can reach 3,000m in the Spanish Pyrenees.

Behaviour character trait

Pic de Sharpe
♂ adult

There are no differences with the Iberian Green Woodpecker.


Pic de Sharpe
♀ adult plum. breeding

The intermittent flapping creates the characteristically undulated flight of most woodpeckers, such as the Iberian Green Woodpecker.

Dietfeeding habits

Pic de Sharpe
♂ adult plum. breeding

As with the Green Woodpecker, the Iberian Green Woodpecker largely feeds on ants supplemented by some other insects, mainly caught on the ground, but also fruit.

Reproduction nesting

Pic de Sharpe
♀ juvenile

Most of the singing is most intense in December and January. Laying of the eggs may begin as early as March in the south of its range, but mainly in May in France. Incubation by both parents takes between 14 and 17 days, and young remain in the nest between 24 and 27 days, fed by both parents. After fledging, each parent looks after one part of the brood for almost two months.

Geographic range

Pic de Sharpe
♀ adult

The Iberian Green Woodpecker's distribution area is mainly located in the Iberian Peninsula (except for the extreme northwest where it is possible that it is replaced by the Green Woodpecker, studies are needed to verify this situation) and, in France, in a narrow band from the Aude coastline to the mountain forests of the Pyrenees Atlantiques.
The contact zone between the Green Woodpecker and the Iberian Green Woodpecker has been studied in Languedoc-Roussillon. Roughly speaking, it can be said that it forms a strip of a few tens of kilometers wide. Thus, between Béziers and the surroundings of Nîmes, almost all the green woodpeckers have intermediate characteristics (in terms of plumage and genetics) between the Green Woodpecker and the Iberian Green Woodpecker. It is not known whether this situation continues up to the Basque Country.

Threats - protection

Pic de Sharpe
♂ adult plum. breeding
IUCN conservation status
in the Wild

In Languedoc-Roussillon, the birds closest to the coast may be threatened by the expansion of urbanization. On the other hand, agricultural abandonment and the increase of scrubs and meadows are of benefit to it. The species does not seem to be threatened.

Other sources of interest

QRcode Pic de SharpeSpecification sheet created on 29/07/2023 by
Translation by AI Oiseaux.net
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