Red-crowned Woodpeckers

Member of the Picidae Family: Woodpeckers ... Sapsuckers ... Flickers

Red-crowned Woodpeckers

The Red-crowned Woodpecker (Melanerpes rubricapillus) is endemic in southwestern Costa Rica south to Colombia, Venezuela, the Guianas and Tobago. They occur in forests and semi-open woodland and cultivation.


Adults average 20.5 cm in length 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.


They feed on insects, but will take fruit and also visit nectar feeders.


They nest in cavities in dead trees or large cacti. The average clutch size consists of two eggs, incubated by both sexes.

The young fledge after 31-33 days.

Call / Song:

They make rattling krrrrrl calls and both sexes drum on territory.

Species Research by Sibylle Johnson

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