Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Strickland's Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus stricklandi)


French: Pic de Strickland German: Stricklandspecht Spanish: Pico de Strickland

Picus (Leuconotopicus) Stricklandi


, 1845,

Mount Orizaba massif, Veracruz, Mexico


Apart from L. arizonae (which see), closest to L. villosus, L. borealis and L. albolarvatus, and all previously placed in Picoides. Recent trend to treat arizonae (with fraterculus) as a separate species followed here, given present species’ dark brown vs creamy mid-brown mantle, back, rump and wings (2); bold white-barred and brown pattern on mantle, back and rump vs uniform, unmarked upperparts (3); broad streaks rather than spots on underparts (2); central rectrices plain blackish-brown without rusty wash (ns[1]); shorter bill (effect size of smaller fraterculus vs stricklandi 3.18, score 2). Birds from C Mexico (E Michoacán to Distrito Federal) named as race aztecus, being less heavily marked below than other populations, but this character apparent only in very fresh plumage and also subject to clinal variation, degree of streaking increasing towards E. Monotypic.


E Mexico from E Michoacán E to WC Veracruz and Puebla.

Descriptive notes

18–19 cm. Male has buff nasal tufts, blackish-brown forehead and crown, red nape, blackish-brown hindneck; broad white stripe behind eye; dark brown upper lores and ear... read more


Single “peep”, used in variety of contexts; distinctive rattle, “peep chree-chree... read more


Inhabits temperate coniferous forest in higher mountains of C volcanic belt, in woods dominated by... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, mainly beetle larvae, and some fruits and seeds. Usually singly; joins mixed-species feeding flocks. Forages mainly on pines... read more


Little information. Season probably Mar/Apr–Jun/Jul. Nest excavated in dead tree or dead part of tree, or in agave (Agave)... read more


Resident. Possibly some altitudinal movements.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally uncommon throughout range, but poorly known. Population estimated in 2008 to be fewer than 50,000 individuals; placed in... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Strickland's Woodpecker (Leuconotopicus stricklandi). 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 17 February 2020).