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Red Crowned Woodpecker standing on a braided tree branch
melanerpes rubricapillus
Melanerpes rubricapillus (Red Crowned Woodpecker)

The Red-crowned Woodpecker is a species of woodpecker found in a variety of locations across Central and South America. This woodpecker exhibits a notable size range, measuring approximately 6.3 to 7.3 inches in length and weighing between 1.4 to 2.3 ounces. Both males and females display similar plumage, but they can be differentiated by their head patterns. Their diet is diverse, consisting largely of fruits, berries, insects, spiders, and nectar from flowers. They exhibit foraging behaviors at various levels of their habitat but favor the middle and lower strata​​​​.
The Red-crowned Woodpecker inhabits a wide range of landscapes, including the interiors and edges of mature deciduous forests, secondary forests, coastal scrublands, mangroves, plantations, and gardens. They are typically found at elevations from sea level up to about 5,600 feet, but in Venezuela, they can be found as high as 6,200 feet. These birds are year-round residents throughout their range. The breeding season varies geographically, with some locations experiencing it between February and July, while others see it from May to November. They sometimes raise two broods a year, with nests typically located in large tree trunks, branches, large cacti, or even fence posts. Their typical clutch size is three or four eggs, but usually, only two young fledge​​​​​​​​. Regarding their conservation status, the Red-crowned Woodpecker is classified as Least Concern by the IUCN with a population estimated above 500,000 individuals. The species may benefit from forest clearance as numbers tend to increase in areas where thinning and clearance create more open woodland​​​​. Photographed in Barranquilla, Colombia.

Woodpecker with bread in his mouth
Melanerpes rubricapillus perched on a mango
Melanerpes rubricapillus with an insect in his beak
Melanerpes rubricapillus on a broken branch
Melanerpes rubricapillus in a branch

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