Crimson-crested Woodpeckers

The Crimson-crested Woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) is found in Panama south to northern Argentina, and on Trinidad, where it occurs in forests and more open woodland.


The Crimson-crested Woodpecker measures about 36 cm in length and weighs 250g.

Adults are mainly black above, with a red crest and white lines down the sides of the black throat and shoulders, which meet in a V on the back.

The plumage below is white, heavily barred with black. They show white on the wings in flight. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat and red on the front of the crown. In adult females, these plumage features are black.

Similar Species:

The Lineated Woodpecker has a narrower white face line and the white shoulder lines do not meet on the back.


Crimson-crested Woodpeckers chip out holes in trees searching out insects. They mainly eat insects, including beetle larvae, but will also take some berries.

Call / Song:

The call of this widespread but wary bird is a loud, ringing CHEE-sic. Both sexes drum.

Breeding / Nesting

Two white eggs are laid in a nest hole is in a dead tree and incubated by both sexes.

Member of the Picidae Family: WoodpeckersSapsuckersFlickers

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Gordon Ramel

Gordon is an ecologist with two degrees from Exeter University. He's also a teacher, a poet and the owner of 1,152 books. Oh - and he wrote this website.

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