Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Chestnut-colored Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus)


French: Pic roux German: Kastanienspecht Spanish: Carpintero castaño

Picus castaneus


, 1829,

no locality = Veracruz, Mexico


Recent molecular study indicated that this species is sister to the C. grammicusC. undatus pair#R. Monotypic.


E Mexico (from S Veracruz and N Oaxaca) S to W Panama.

Descriptive notes

c. 23–25 cm; 80–105 g. Male has broad red band from bill base back to lower cheeks, red feather tips around eye, and sometimes along crown side; rest of head... read more


Sibilant descending whistle, “peew” or “kheeu”, often followed by 2–... read more


Prefers dense humid evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, tall second growth; also forest edge, and... read more

Food and feeding

Mainly ants and termites (Isoptera), and other insects; some fruit, and arillate seeds (e.g. Stemmadenia), possibly also... read more


Mar–Jun, sometimes Aug, in N of range; Feb–Jul in Costa Rica and Panama. Nest excavated by both sexes, 4–21 m up in soft... read more


Some seasonal movements; wanders into coastal scrub and mangrove in winter.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common in Mexico, less common farther S. Occurs in several protected areas, including Finca La Selva (Costa Rica). Alleged to cause... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Chestnut-colored Woodpecker (Celeus castaneus). 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 on 11 December 2019).