Golden-tailed Woodpeckers are denizens of a wide variety of woodland habitats, especially those dominated by burkea, miombo and mopane trees, and coastal and riverine forests, but it also occurs in thickets in more open or arid areas. Like other woodpeckers it probes under bark and inside wood for insects. Adults weigh around 70g and grow to a length of 21cm.
Golden-tailed Woodpeckers form permanent, monogamous pairs. Both partners excavate the nest on the underside of a branch (nests may be used for consecutive years) and take turns to incubate the clutch of 2 or 3 eggs over a period of 2 weeks during the spring-summer breeding season. The chicks leave the nest when they’re a month old but remain dependent on their parents for a few weeks more thereafter.
The IUCN lists the Golden-tailed Woodpecker as being of least concern. It occurs widely in east, central and southern Africa – in South Africa they are to be found in Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West and parts of the Northern Cape.