Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons)


French: Pic à front jaune German: Goldmaskenspecht Spanish: Carpintero arcoiris

Picus flavifrons


, 1818,



Sometimes placed in a separate genus Tripsurus, along with M. cruentatus, M. chrysauchen, M. pulcher and M. pucherani. Thought to be closest to M. cruentatus. Birds from E & S of range, generally much darker below than NW populations, are sometimes separated as race rubriventris, but considerable variation exists throughout species’ entire range; recognition of geographical races considered unwarranted. Monotypic.


E & SE Brazil from Bahia and Goiás S to SE Mato Grosso and Rio Grande do Sul, E Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).

Descriptive notes

c. 17 cm; 49–64 g. Male has golden-yellow forehead and forecrown with white feather bases, red central crown to hindneck; glossy blue-black lores, area around eye, and... read more


Noisy, with strident “kikiki”, “tsilidit”; also flight calls sounding like... read more


Humid forest; also secondary vegetation, such as cane fields, palm groves, orchards; recorded in... read more

Food and feeding

Takes many fruits, berries and seeds; also insects and their larvae; captives fed sugar water and mealworms. Nestlings fed fruits,... read more


Jan–May in most of range, to Jun in SE Brazil; recorded in Nov in Espírito Santo. Co-operative breeder, up to 4 males and 2... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. No information on numbers. Occurs in neighbouring Iguaçú and Iguazú National Parks (Brazil/Argentina), Rio Doce State Park and... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Bonan, A. (2019). Yellow-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes flavifrons). 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 14 December 2019).