Bird Families

Lesser Sharp-winged Woodpecker / Dendrocopos kizuki (Temminck, 1835)


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Species name:Lesser pointed woodpecker
Latin name:Dendrocopos kizuki (Temminck, 1835)
English name:(Japanese) Pygmy Woodpecker, Japanese Spotted Woodpecker
French name:Pic kizuki
German name:Kizukispecht
Russian synonyms:pygmy woodpecker
Detachment:Woodpeckers (Piciformes)
Family:Woodpeckers (Picidae)
Genus:Spotted Woodpeckers (Dendrocopos Koch, 1816)
Status:Nesting sedentary species. In autumn, some of the birds migrate to more southern regions.

General characteristics and field signs

The smallest of all woodpeckers found in Russia. In color it is somewhat reminiscent of the lesser spotted woodpecker, but differs from it in uniformly alternating black and white transverse stripes on the back, loin and wings. Unlike the lesser spotted woodpecker, in which males have a red spot on the front of the head, males of the lesser pointed-winged woodpecker have several red feathers only on the sides of the nape. In the normal state, they are not noticeable even when viewing the bird through binoculars at close range, but become visible when the plumage on the head is raised during demonstrative poses or when the bird is excited.

Lesser pointed-winged woodpecker is a mobile and sociable bird, in autumn and winter it is often found in mixed flocks of tits, nuthatches and pikas. Like all woodpeckers, they drum in the spring. The drum trill is very peculiar - it is extremely short and sounds like one vibrating beat that repeats itself all the time: trrr-trrr-trrr. Birds in a pair often emit a kind of squealing cry - “kirrr-cittsittsit. », Which can sometimes be heard during the nesting period. When birds from the same pair are encountered, the hollow has almost the same squealing, only less harsh sound sounds like "kir-tsip-tsip-tsip" and "tsit-tsit-tsit" (Panov, 1973). Birds usually peck food from the surface of trunks and branches, often hanging at the ends of branches with their backs downward like tits.


Coloring. There are no seasonal differences in color. An adult male. The head is gray or brownish-gray from above, a white stripe extends from the eye to the back of the head, merging with a large white spot on the back of the head. On the sides of the occiput there are two red longitudinal stripes or separate red feathers. The back is dark brown with through transverse white stripes, which makes it look as if uniformly striped. The throat and middle of the chest are white. There are indistinct brown spots on the sides of the chest. The belly and undertail are off-white with brown longitudinal streaks. Flight feathers are black-brown with white markings on the outer and inner webs. Two outer pairs of tail feathers are white with black transverse stripes, two subsequent pairs are black with white outer webs. Middle tail feathers are black. The beak is bluish-gray, the eyes are red or reddish-brown, the legs are dark gray.

The adult female is also colored, but without red on the head.

Day-old chicks are naked and blind. The nesting outfit is identical in color to adult birds, differing only in that it is looser, softer and dull. Flight feathers are wider, especially wide and long. I primary flight feathers, which are noticeably longer than the upper wing coverts. Sex in juveniles also differs in nesting plumage, as in adults.

Structure and dimensions

Wing formula: III-IV-V-VI-II-VII. Dimensions are shown in table 33.

Table 33. Sizes of the small pointed-winged woodpecker (mm)
D. k. permutatus (ZM MSU col.)D. k. ijimae (after Velizhanin, 1977)
Wing lengthmale3184–8885,7283–86
Wing lengthfemale885–89
Tail lengthmale150249–53
Tail lengthfemale750–6254,9256, 56
Beak lengthmale313,5–14,814,1212,5–13,8
Beak lengthfemale813,7–16,015,1214, 14
Tarsus lengthmale214,1–15,0215,0–15,3
Tarsus lengthfemale814,0–16,314,9214,8–15,1
Body weight (g)male18,5–21,720,1220.3 and 21.5
Body weight (g)female22,0–25,923,4123,6

Larger sizes in females (wing length - 88-92 mm), in comparison with males (wing length - 77-86 mm), in D. k. permutatus were also noted by K.A.Vorobyov (1954). According to V.A.Nechaev (1991), D. k. ijimae with about. Sakhalin females are somewhat larger than males: the body weight of birds caught in June-August was 19.3-22.0 in males (n = 7), on average 20.6 ± 0.4 g, in females (n = 6) - 20.3-21.8, on average 21.0 ± 0.2 g.

Subspecific taxonomy

There are 4-12 subspecies (Stepanyan, 1975, Howard, Moore, 1980, Short, 1982), differing in the degree of saturation of the general color, shades and the ratio of dark and light parts of the plumage, the degree of development of a dark pattern on the upper and lower sides of the body and overall size. Two subspecies have been recorded in Russia (Stepanyan, 1975).

Dryobates kizuki permutatus Meise, 1934, Abhandle. Ber. Mus. Dresden, 18, N2, bldg. 53, Sidimi, South Primorye

The dark pattern on the upper side of the body is of a more saturated and darker tone, more brownish, less grayish. The streaks on the underside of the body are larger.

2.Dendrocopos kizuki ijimae

fyngipicus kizuki ijimae Taka-Tsukasa, 1922, Dobutsu. Zasshi, 34, bldg. 292, Sakhalin

The dark pattern on the upper side of the body is of a less saturated, lighter tone, more grayish, less brownish. The streaks on the underside of the body are smaller.


Nesting area. Lower Amur Region, Primorye, Korean Peninsula, Hokkaido, Honshu, Chechzhudo, Shikoku, Kyushu, Yakushima, Itsu, Tsushima, Oki, Ryukyu islands. To the west - from the Khekhtsir ridge along the Songhua Valley to the western borders of Heilongjiang. In Russia, the northern border, which is at the same time the border of the distribution of the species, runs from the Khekhtsir ridge, along the basins of the Samarga, Adimi, Ludza rivers to the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan. In this area, the woodpecker has a belt distribution along the floodplains of rivers (Matyushkin, 19676, Nazarenko, 1990, Koblik et al., 1997), and is absent on Bikin and Iman (Spangenberg, 1965, Koblik et al., 1997). To the west, the species is distributed to the state border of Russia, to the south and east - to the coast of the Sea of ​​Japan. Common in the Kedrovaya Pad nature reserve (Panov, 1973). Lives on the islands of Sakhalin, Kunashir, Shikotan, Iturup, possibly Urup (Gizenko, 1955, Nechaev, 1969). On Sakhalin, it is distributed only in the southern and central parts of the island (Nechaev, 1991). Noteworthy is the meeting of a brood (lad, 2 juv) during the nesting time (23.07.2004) on the island. Paramushir, much to the north of the known finds in the southern Kuril Islands. The birds kept in the alder dwarf tree in the env. Severokurilsk (E.G. Lobkov, pers. Comm.).

Figure 99. The area of ​​distribution of the small sharp-winged woodpecker:
a - nesting area. Subspecies: 1 - D. k. permutatus, 2 - D. k. ijmae, 3 - D. k. seebochmi, 4 - D. k. kizuki, 5 - D. k. amamii.

Figure 100. The range of the lesser pointed-winged woodpecker in Russia:
a - nesting area. Subspecies: 1 - D. k. permutatus, 2 - D. k. ijmae.

In Russia subspecies A. k. permutatus inhabits the mainland, and D. k. ijimae - islands.


There is little information on the number. In oak forests on the mountain slopes of the coastal part of the Middle Sikhote-Alin, there are 1.4 individuals per 1 km2 (Kuleshova, 1976), in the lime-broad-leaved forests of Sikhote-Alin, the nesting density is 5.5 pairs / km2 (Nazarenko, 1971). On about. Kunashir in a mixed forest - 1, in an alder-birch forest - 2 pairs / km2, in alder and willow forests on the shore of the lake. There are 3 nesting pairs per 1 km of the route (Nechaev, 1969).

In South Primorye, according to A.A. Nazarenko (Panov, 1973), the population density of the small pointed-winged woodpecker in the nesting period in black fir-broad-leaved forests is 1.2 pairs / km2, cedar-broad-leaved forests - 1.3, oak forests - 0, 7, linden-broad-leaved - 1.6, floodplain of lower reaches of rivers - 0.5, floodplain of upper reaches of rivers - 2.6 pairs / km2, in 1962-1963. in the Kedrovaya Pad nature reserve, the nesting density of the small pointed-winged woodpecker in black fir forests was 4.7, in linden forests - 6.7 pairs / km2, in 1964–1968 in the Ussuriysky reserve in black fir forests - 3.3, in lime forests - 5 , 0 pairs / km2 (Nazarenko, 1971a). Quite common (2-3 meetings per day) in the floodplain poplar-chozenia forests along the river. Turbulent, in the alder forests of the Kamenka estuary and in the oak forests between the Kamenka and Svetlaya valleys (Koblik et al., 1997). In the dark coniferous-deciduous forests of the lower reaches of the river. The choir small pointed-winged woodpecker is rare (Kislenko, 1965).

Daily activity, behavior

Lesser pointed-winged woodpecker is a bird with a diurnal type of activity. He spends the night in hollows. During the nesting period, it is a territorial species.

From the moment the broods broke up, several (3-4 individuals) of small pointed-winged woodpeckers almost always keep in each mixed flock, consisting mainly of tit, great and long-tailed tits, nuthatches and light-headed warblers. Starting in October, no more than two woodpeckers can be seen at the same time. The appearance of the third causes an antagonistic reaction in them (Panov, 1973).

VA Nechaev (1971) in the autumn-winter time noted a similar thing on about. Kunashir, where, in addition to small pointed-winged woodpeckers, the mixed flocks included several species of tits, nuthatches, pikas and beetroots. However, even in November, they observed flocks of small pointed-winged woodpeckers of 5-10 birds, and in December - a flock of 17-20 woodpeckers. In the winter of 1963, congregations of woodpeckers were observed in the floodplain forests of Lake Sandy. On the twentieth of January, 3 flocks of 4-10 birds each were encountered on a three-kilometer route. In the same place, on February 12, on a kilometer route, 10 woodpeckers were noted, already split into pairs (Nechaev, 1969).


Nutritional information is incomplete and sketchy. The main food for the chicks is the subfamily pennies. Aphrophorinae, which accounted for 50% of the occurrence in the studied samples. Various insects serve as additional feed: caterpillars and adult butterflies, most often from this. Geometridae and Noctuidae, beetles, and spiders (Polivanov, Polivanova, 1974, Polivanov, 1981).

In summer, the birds feed mainly on openly kept insects, collecting them from the bark of trees. In the stomachs of birds shot on the islands of Kunashir and Shikotan in June-August, only food of animal origin was found: larvae and adults of leaf beetles (Gastrolina sp.) And barbel beetles, caterpillars of butterflies, aphids, small red ants, earwigs, chitinous remains of a darkling beetle (Atasthalus dentifrons), weevil (Hylobius sp.), and other beetles (Nechaev, 1969). On Sakhalin in summer, woodpeckers feed mainly on beetles, Homoptera, Lepidoptera caterpillars and Diptera (Nechaev, 1991). In 5 stomachs of woodpeckers caught on the island. Iturup in June-July, the remains of aphids, beetles, Diptera, Hymenoptera, caterpillars of butterflies, etc. were found. (Nechaev, 2002).

In autumn, soft wood is often hammered, sometimes they are also found on the stems of large herbaceous plants. In the autumn-winter time, in addition to food of animal origin, plant food begins to be found in the stomachs of shot birds, sometimes occupying half of the stomach volume: fruits and seeds of the elderberry mikel, eastern toxicodendron, actinidia kolomikta, tall aralia and Sakhalin buckwheat. Of the animal feed consumed at this time, larvae of bark beetles, barbel beetles and weevils, small red ants, earwigs, subcrustal bugs (Aradus sp.), And butterfly caterpillars were found (Nechaev, 1969). On Sakhalin in October, the eating of the seeds of Zibold's spindle tree was observed (Nechaev, 1991). Eating of Kalopanox berries, seeds of yew and Manchurian aralia, and cedar elfin nuts was also noted (Gizenko, 1955, Panov, 1973, Omelko, 1979). On the Aralia, feeding was observed in the first half of the day. When feeding on Kalopanox berries, woodpeckers from time to time specially flew to a certain tree and tore off the berries, hanging from the fruit with their backs down.

AI Gizenko (1955) in the stomachs of birds from the islands of Kunashir and Shikotan, in addition to food of plant origin, noted the remains of caterpillars of butterflies, leafhoppers, barbel beetles, ground beetles and other beetles, as well as millipedes and fly larvae. In October 1962, when aphids were abundant, woodpeckers were fed on them (Panov, 1973).