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Melanerpes chrysauchen

Golden-naped Woodpecker

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Alexander, Ming, and Carole S. Griffiths

Melanerpes chrysauchen

Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica; 9 August 2007 © Kurt Lindsay

The Golden-naped Woodpecker is endemic to the Pacific slope of southern Central America, where it ranges from southwest Costa Rica to western Panama. This species typically occurs in humid forested areas below 1500 m, although, like many other Melanerpes species, the Golden-naped Woodpecker appears able to persist in areas subject to a degree of environmental disturbance. The upperparts are predominantly black, with white markings on the back and rump, the underparts are largely barred, while in males the forehead is yellow, the crown red, and the nape yellow. In contrast females have almost the entire crown and nape yellow, except for black bar above the eyes. Like congenerics, Golden-naped Woodpecker usually is encountered in pairs or small family groups.

Recommended Citation

Alexander, Ming, and Carole S. Griffiths. 2012. Golden-naped Woodpecker (Melanerpes chrysauchen), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website. The data for these maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Chisel
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Pairs/Family Groups
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 2 - 4
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern