Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Cuban Green Woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percussus)


French: Pic poignardé German: Blutfleckspecht Spanish: Carpintero tajá

Picus percussus


, 1826,



Distinctive. Six races have been named, but species exhibits considerable variation in size and coloration throughout range, and much overlap in characters among different populations; thus, described races monticola (E Cuba) and cocoensis (Cayo Coco and nearby cays) are regarded as synonyms of nominate race, and gloriae (Cantiles Keys) and marthae (Cayo Caballones) as synonyms of insulaepinorum. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. p. percussus (Temminck, 1826) – Cuba, including archipelagos of Sabana and Camagüey.
  • X. p. insulaepinorum Bangs, 1910 – I of Pines, Cantiles Keys and Archipiélago Jardines de la Reina (Cayo Caballones).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 21–25 cm; 45–97 g, male c. 20% heavier than female. Male has red crown to nape, short crest and hindneck, some black feather bases usually visible (especially... read more


    Short harsh “jorr” or “gwurr” in short series is commonest call; also... read more


    Inhabits forest and woodland of most types, including pines, mangroves and open woodland with palms... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists of insects, reportedly of relatively large size, as well as some fruits and frogs. Also observed preying on eggs at nests of... read more


    Feb–Aug, possibly peak in May–Jun. Nest-hole 2–12 m (usually 4–5 m) up in palm, or in live or dead tree, apparently... read more


    Resident. Claimed occurrence of vagrants on Hispaniola and Jamaica after storms lack substantiation. read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common and widespread within range. Probably more numerous than M. superciliaris; is able to exploit wide variety of wooded... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Cuban Green Woodpecker (Xiphidiopicus percussus). 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 19 February 2020).