Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus)


Taxonomy

French: Pic à chevron d’or German: Gelbbrauenspecht Spanish: Carpintero azulado
Other common names: Red-fronted Woodpecker (“rubrifrons”)
Taxonomy:

Picus cruentatus

Boddaert

, 1783,

Cayenne

.

Sometimes placed in a separate genus Tripsurus, along with M. flavifrons, M. chrysauchen, M. pulcher and M. pucherani. Thought to be closest to M. flavifrons. Black-headed morph (mostly in S & SE Venezuela, the Guianas and Amazonian Brazil, where it predominates) was formerly considered a separate species, M. rubrifrons, but interbreeds freely with yellow-tufted morph wherever the two co-occur; hence, no grounds even for subspecific division. W & S populations (Colombia to Venezuela and W Brazil, and S of there) described as race extensus on basis of difference in tone and extent of red on belly, but this character varies greatly among all populations, and racial separation considered untenable. Monotypic.

Distribution:

E Colombia and S & SE Venezuela E to the Guianas and NE Brazil (E to Maranhão), S to E Ecuador, E Peru, N & E Bolivia and Mato Grosso.

Descriptive notes

c. 19 cm; 48–64 g. Small, dark-looking woodpecker with broad pale eyering, occurring in two morphs. Male of black-headed morph has red, often round-shaped patch on... read more

Voice

Noisy, with various loud, hoarse calls like those of M. formicivorus: single “chowp... read more

Habitat

Rainforest, secondary growth, forest edge, and burnt-over clearings with isolated trees; sometimes... read more

Food and feeding

Insects (ants and others) and large quantities of fruits (berries) are main constituents of diet; other arthropods, e.g. spiders and... read more

Breeding

Mainly Jun–Aug in E Peru E to the Guianas, from Mar in Colombia, to Sept along R Negro; Mar–Jun in Bolivia and Amazonian Basin... read more

Movements

Resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common and conspicuous; fairly adaptable. Common in Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. Occurs in numerous protected areas, including Amacayacu... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2017). Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus). 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 https://www.hbw.com/node/56162 on 13 December 2017).