The Japanese pygmy woodpecker (Yungipicus kizuki) is a common, widespread bird found in the Russian Far East, Japan, Korea and Northeast China. A resident of woodlands, riparian thicks and scrub, this small woodpecker adapts well to urban settings such as gardens and parks from lowlands to subalpine environments.
With variable plumage, the Japanese pygmy woodpecker is often described as “dusky”. Its back is ladderbacked – narrowly barred with brownish black and white. The crown is greyish and the chest, throat and upper breast are whitish. The brownish face has a pale supercilium (eyebrow or region of eyebrow) merging into a whitish patch on the sides of the hind neck. The Japanese pygmy woodpecker’s tail is black and its bill is sharp and pointed. Depending on age the eyes can be brown to reddish brown.
These Japanese pygmy woodpeckers, photographed in a Sakaide Japan city park, were quite the acrobats as they gleaned insects from tree bark. It was fun to watch them assume amazing positions to obtain their meal.
Previously the genus name for Japanese pygmy woodpeckers was Dendrocopos.