Red-crowned Woodpecker (Melanerpes rubricapillus)

Red-crowned Woodpecker

[order] PICIFORMES | [family] Picidae | [latin] Melanerpes rubricapillus | [UK] Red-crowned Woodpecker | [FR] Pic a couronne rouge | [DE] Rotkappen-Specht | [ES] Carpintero Coronirrojo | [NL] Roodkruinspecht


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Melanerpes rubricapillus LA Costa Rica to nw Venezuela
Melanerpes rubricapillus paraguanae Paraguana Pen. (n Venezuela)
Melanerpes rubricapillus rubricapillus sw Costa Rica to the Guianas, Tobago
Melanerpes rubricapillus seductus San Miguel I. (off Panama)
Melanerpes rubricapillus subfusculus Coiba I. (off Panama)

Physical charateristics

Adults have a barred black and white back and wings. Uper tail coverts and rump white. The tail is blackish with some white barring amd spotting, and the underparts are pale buff-brown, center of belly red. Bill and legs black. The male has a red crown patch and nape. The female has a buff crown and duller nape.

Listen to the sound of Red-crowned Woodpecker

[audio: Woodpecker.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 16 cm size max.: 18 cm
incubation min.: 10 days incubation max.: 11 days
fledging min.: 31 days fledging max.: 11 days
broods: 1   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 4  


Latin America : Costa Rica to Northwest Venezuela


This woodpecker occurs in decideous forests and semi-open woodland and mangroves and cultivation like gardens and plantations.


Nest is a hole excavated in a dead tree or large cactus (3-23 meter up). clutch size is 3-4 eggs, incubated by both sexes. usually oly two chicks are reared. Young fledge after 31-33 days, parents will care for fledglings an additional month.

Feeding habits

Feeds on insects (beetles ants, grubs) but will take lots of fruit and berries and visits nectar flowers. Feeds solitary or in pairs, foraging mostly at lower and middle height.


This species has a very large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). The population trend appears to be increasing, and hence the species does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size has not been quantified, but it is not believed to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Red-crowned Woodpecker status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range.

Distribution map

Red-crowned Woodpecker distribution range map

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