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Melanerpes hoffmannii

Hoffmann's Woodpecker

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Sandoval, Luis

Melanerpes hoffmannii

San Rafael de Coronado, San José, Costa Rica; 24 October 2015 © Raúl Vega

A typical bar-backed Melanerpes, Hoffmann’s Woodpecker is largely creamy below and on the head, with a dark gray back and black wings, both heavily barred in white, while the nape is golden yellow; males also have a small red crown patch. Like many Melanerpes, this woodpecker has proved itself able to adapt to human-modified habitats. Indeed, it shuns dense forest, preferring semiopen wooded country, especially in xeric areas. It ranges from sea level to over 2000 m elevation. Consequently, despite being restricted to the Pacific slope of Central America, from Honduras south to Costa Rica, Hoffmann’s Woodpecker is not perceived to be threatened by deforestation. The breeding season occupies much of the first half of the year, and the species is double-brooded.

Recommended Citation

Sandoval, Luis. 2013. Hoffmann's Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii), 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 deciduous forest
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Chisel
  • Diet:Omnivorous
  • Sociality:Solitary/Pairs
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 2 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern