Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis)


Taxonomy

French: Pic de Lewis German: Blutgesichtsspecht Spanish: Carpintero de Lewis
Taxonomy:

Picus Lewis

G. R. Gray

, 1849,

no locality = Montana, USA

.

Rather distinctive; sometimes placed in monotypic genus Asyndesmus, but shows many similarities to typical Melanerpes. Skull morphology indicates close relationship to M. erythrocephalus and M. formicivorus#R. Monotypic.

Distribution:

Coastal ranges and foothills of Rocky Mts from S British Columbia S to Arizona and New Mexico, E to W South Dakota, Wyoming and SE Colorado; in winter mostly in S parts of range.

Descriptive notes

c. 26–29 cm; 85–138 g. Small to medium-sized woodpecker, unmista­kable; flies with slow wingbeats in straight line, not undulating, appears very dark. Both... read more

Voice

Series of short, rather loud and harsh “churr” calls, usually 3–8 in quick... read more

Habitat

Breeds in open habitats with some dead trees with decayed wood for nesting, and with rich food... read more

Food and feeding

In spring and summer, various insects, especially ants and other Hymenoptera, also beetles, Orthoptera (mainly Tettigoniidae); also fruits... read more

Breeding

Apr–Sept, mostly May–Jul; breeds 1–3 weeks later in S of range or at low altitudes than in N or uplands. Apparently... read more

Movements

Mostly migratory. Because of marked seasonal changes in diet, has to move variable distances to non... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Locally common to uncommon or rare. No figures for total population size; estimated 700–1200 breeding birds in British Columbia in 1990.... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2017). Lewis's Woodpecker (Melanerpes lewis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from http://www.hbw.com/node/56155 on 25 May 2017).