Red Crowned Woodpecker

The Red-crowned WoodpeckerMelanerpes rubricapillus, is a resident breeding bird from southwestern Costa Rica south to Colombia, Venezuela, theGuianas and Tobago.

This woodpecker occurs in forests and semi-open woodland and cultivation. It nests in a hole in a dead tree or large cactus. The clutch is two eggs, incubated by both sexes, which fledge after 31-33 days.

Adults are 20.5 cm long and weigh 48g. They have a zebra-barred black and white back and wings and a white rump. The tail is black with some white barring, and the underparts are pale buff-brown.

The male has a red crown patch and nape. The female has a buff crown and duller nape. Immature birds are duller, particularly in the red areas of the head and neck. M. r. terricolor of Tobago is larger and darker-breasted than the nominate race.

Red-crowned Woodpeckers feed on insects, but will take fruit and visit nectar feeders.

This common and conspicuous species gives a rattling krrrrrl call and both sexes drum on territory.