Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Grey-crowned Woodpecker (Colaptes auricularis)


French: Pic à tête grise German: Graukappenspecht Spanish: Carpintero cabecigrís

Chloronerpes auricularis

Salvin and Godman

, 1889,

Xautipa, Sierra Madre del Sur, Guerrero, Mexico


Closely related to C. rubiginosus, and sometimes considered conspecific. Both were previously placed in Piculus, but recent phylogenetic analyses indicate that placement in Colaptes appropriate#R. Greyer individuals from SE Sonora named as race sonoriensis, but this considered unacceptable as apparently based on worn specimens. Monotypic.


Pacific slope of W Mexico from S Sonora to Oaxaca.

Descriptive notes

c. 16–17 cm; 52–68 g. Male has grey to green-grey forehead to nape, often red at crown and nape sides, buff lores, area around eye and ear-coverts, red malar... read more


Single explosive “kee-ah”, mewing “growh”; also rapid shrill rattle, similar to that of C.... read more


Humid to mesic forests and forest edge; locally also highland pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet includes berries; forages from high levels down to low ones.


No data. Probably similar to C. rubiginosus.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common. Very poorly known species; requires field research to determine various aspects of its behaviour. No known threats, but... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Grey-crowned Woodpecker (Colaptes auricularis). 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 25 February 2020).