Backyard Birds

Hispaniolan Woodpeckers (Melanerpes striatus)

The Hispaniolan Woodpeckers (Melanerpes striatus) is only found on a couple of Caribbean islands in the Greater Antilles.

Distribution / Habitat

These woodpeckers occur naturally on the large island of Hispaniola (Haiti and Dominican Republic) and the nearby small island of Beata.

Their range extends from the coasts across the deserts to the mountains – from sea level up to at least 7,900 feet (~ 2,400 meters).


This medium-sized woodpecker has a black and yellow striped back. The rump is olive-grey. Their tail base is bright red while the tail itself is black. The cheeks are grey. The plumage below is buffy-olive.

Males can be identified by the dark red stripe that extends from the forehead to the neck. They also have distinctively longer bills.

In females, the red stripe extends only from the nape to the neck.

Member of the Picidae Family: WoodpeckersSapsuckersFlickers

Diet / Feeding

Hispaniolan Woodpecker feed on fruits, insects, and tree sap. They are often found in fruit orchards, where they may be considered agricultural pests.

Breeding / Nesting

Unlike most other woodpeckers, the Hispaniolan Woodpecker breeds in loose colonies of up to 20 pairs to protect the nest sites.

They nest in tree cavities.

Calls / Vocalizations / Sounds

Alternate (Global) Names

Czech: Datel haitský … Chinese: ????? … Danish: Haitispætte … Dutch: Hispaniolaspecht, Hispaniola-specht … Estonian: haiti leeträhn … Finnish: Haitintikka … French: Pic d’Hispaniola … German: Haiti Specht, Haitispecht … Italian: Picchio di Hispaniola … Japanese: hisupaniorashimasegera … Norwegian: Hispaniolaspett … Polish: dzieciur plowy, dzi?ciur p?owy … Russian: ?????????? ?????????? … Slovak: tesárik plavý … Spanish: Carpintero, Carpintero de la Española, Carpintero Dominicano … Swedish: Haitispett


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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