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Blond-crested Woodpecker Celeus flavescens


Blond-crested Woodpecker is the most widespread and common Celeus of eastern South America, occurring from east central Brazil south to eastern Paraguay, northeastern Argentina, and southern Brazil. Like other members of the genus, it forages at mid-heights and in canopy of humid forest. It primarily eats ants and termites, although it also eats some fruit and berries. The nest cavity is in the side of an arboreal ant nest; otherwise, very little is known about the natural history of this bird. Genetic evidence suggests that Blond-crested Woodpecker is most closely related to Chestnut Woodpecker (Celeus elegans), which is a fairly common woodpecker that is widely distributed across Amazonia, and to Pale-crested Woodpecker (Celeus lugubris), which occurs from central Bolivia south to northern Argentina. Blond-crested Woodpecker apparently is less closely related to Ochre-backed Woodpecker (Celeus ochraceus) of northeastern South America, although Ochre-backed formerly was classified as a subspecies of Blond-crested, the two are believed to hybridize where they come into contact, and one of the subspecies of Blond-crested, intercedens of the interior of eastern Brazil, is intermediate in appearance between the two. Blond-crested Woodpecker takes its name the blond, crested head; males have a large red moustachial stripe, while females have a less prominent black moustache. The body is mostly black, with a buffy rump and narrow buff bars across the wings and the back.


© Bret Whitney

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

(2018). Blond-crested Woodpecker (Celeus flavescens), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.