Campo Flicker Colaptes campestris

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Polytypic: 2 subspecies
  • Authors: Raphael Igor Dias and Regina Helena Macedo


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Campo Flicker
eBird range map for Campo Flicker

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

The Campo Flicker has a large distribution in South America, ranging from northeastern Brazil (states of Maranhão and Pernambuco) to Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina. There also are isolated populations north of the Amazon on the Sipalwini Savanna in southern Suriname (Mees 1968, Haverschmidt and Mees 1994), at Monte Alegre, Pará, Brazil (Snethlage 1914, Short 1975), and in Amapá, Brazil (Silva et al. 1997). Despite this ample distribution, detailed information regarding the presence of the species on specific areas within its range is deficient. Similarly to its distribution, Campo Flickers can be found along an enormous altitudinal range. Most of the records suggest that the species is commonly found in altitudes ranging from 500 to 800 m (Vasconcelos et al. 2003, Pivato et al. 2006, Mallet-Rodrigues et al. 2007, Straube and Urben-Filho 2008), however, the species can also be found at lower (80-300 m; Vickery et al. 2003; Straube et al. 2006; Lopes and Braz 2007) and higher (900-1700 m; Parrini et al. 1999; Vickery et al., 2003) elevations. In Argentina, a study revealed that the species is more abundant on montane than on lowland grasslands (Vickery et al. 2003).

The Campo Flicker is a year-round resident with males defending the same territories for several years in central Brazil (RID unpubl. data). The species is also considered resident in other areas of its range, such as in Argentina (Vickery et al., 2003) and Paraguay (Short 1975).

The subspecies C. campestris campestris is found from central Paraguay and Santa Catarina (Brazil) northward, whereas C. campestris campestroides is found from southern Paraguay and Rio Grande do Sul (Brazil) southward (Short 1975). There is a hybrid zone in south-central Paraguay, involving fully hybrid populations varying in throat coloration (Short, 1975, 1976).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to South America.


The Campo Flicker primarily is associated with savannas and pampas, but frequently is found on open and semi-open country including forest edges, clearings and cultivated areas (Short 1972, 1975). Moreover, the species is found at the top of mountain ranges in southeastern Brazil (Parrini et al. 1999; Mallet-Rodrigues et al. 2007), tropical scrub forest (caatinga) (Short 1975), flooded grasslands in the Pantanal of Brazil (Tubelis and Tomas 2003) and on the Paraguayan Chaco (Short 1975).

More specifically, within the Cerrado biome the specie is encountered in several different landscapes, including grasslands with scattered shrubs and small trees (campo sujo), rocky grasslands, floodplain grasslands with earth-mounds, cerrado sensu stricto (dominated by shrubs and trees often 3-8 m tall) and gallery forest borders, but not advancing too much into the last ones (RID unpubl. data). However, the species seems to prefer heavily grazed pastures, as suggested by Vickery et al. (2003).

Campo sujo in Brazilian savanna during the dry season, Brasília, Brazil. Photographed by Raphael Dias.

Transition between a floodplain grassland with earth-mounds and a campo cerrado, Brasília, Brazil. Photographed by Raphael Dias.

Historical changes

No information.

Fossil history

No information.

Recommended Citation

Dias, R. I. and R. H. Macedo (2010). Campo Flicker (Colaptes campestris), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.