Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Puerto Rican Woodpecker (Melanerpes portoricensis)


French: Pic de Porto Rico German: Puerto-Rico-Specht Spanish: Carpintero puertorriqueño

Picus portoricensis


, 1803,

Puerto Rico




Puerto Rico and nearby Vieques I (Greater Antilles).

Descriptive notes

23–27 cm; 45–72 g. Small, distinctive woodpecker. Male has white forehead, lores and narrow circle of feathers around eye, tinged buffish on forehead; blue-... read more


Wide variety of calls, most commonly “wek, wek, wek-wek-wek-wek-wek” or similar,... read more


Wooded areas, ranging from mangrove swamps and coconut plantations on coast to montane forest; also... read more

Food and feeding

Animal food principally wood-boring beetle larvae, ants and earwigs (Dermaptera), also grasshoppers, bugs, occasionally frogs and lizards.... read more


Nestbuilding from Jan, laying mostly in Apr–May. Solitary; possibly occasionally colonial. Nest excavated in dead stump, usually high... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands EBA. Common and widespread on Puerto Rico; rare on Vieques.... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Puerto Rican Woodpecker (Melanerpes portoricensis). 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 12 December 2019).