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Black-cheeked Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by John Keep
Hotel Gavilan near La Selva, Costa Rica, March, 2006
Melanerpes pucherani


18.5 cm (7¼")

  • Black upperparts
  • White barring on back
  • White spotting on wings
  • White rump
  • Black tail with some white barring
  • Underparts pale buff-olive
  • Red central belly
  • Black patch through eyes and on cheeks
  • Yellow forehead
  • Red nape
  • Crown: red in the male and black in the female

Young birds are duller, have less white above and less red on the belly.


Central and South America
Central America: South-east Mexico (Veracruz, Chiapas), Guatemala, Belize, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama
South America: Colombia to westernEcuador

Photo © by John Keep
Hotel Gavilan near La Selva, Costa Rica, March, 2006


This is a monotypic species[1].


Upper and middle levels of humid forests, scattered tall trees, old second growth and roadside trees around farms, woodlands and gardens



The nest is an unlined hole high up in a dead tree. The clutch of 2-4 glossy white eggs is incubated by both adults.


The diet consists mostly of insects, but fruit and nectar are also eaten.


The call is a rattling krrrrrl.
Both sexes can be heard drumming.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Avibase
  3. Wikipedia contributors. (2018, February 14). Black-cheeked woodpecker. In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 00:05, January 6, 2019, from https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Black-cheeked_woodpecker&oldid=825570846
  4. Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani). 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/56160 on 6 January 2019).
  5. Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/blcwoo1

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