Foraging Behavior: Five main methods of foraging have been observed:
1) Pecking: Crimson-crested Woodpeckers uncover prey in the superficial layers of wood with relatively few pecks (Kilham 1972).
2) Percussion: These woodpeckers do not always peck only to find food; they also give exploratory pecks every now and then, without digging into the wood, in hope of causing the wood-boring larvae to move within their tunnels or to sound out differences between an open tunnel and solid wood (Kilham 1972).
3) Scaling: When on dead limbs, Crimson-crested Woodpecker combines pecking with sidewise, glancing blows that dislodge large pieces of loose bark and other debris that falls to the ground as the woodpecker moves along. They combine powerful, rapid, occasionally prying blows in order to uncover prey when on these dead limbs (Kilham 1972).
4) Probing: Crimson-crested Woodpeckers place the bill into natural cavities where they explore the insectaries with their long tongues (Kilham 1972), which have short, narrow, sharp tips that form a stiffened spear point (Wetmore 1968).
5) Digging: When foraging on well rotted stubs for deep lying prey, Crimson-crested Woodpeckers may dig holes 10 cm or more deep, during which process they toss large pieces of wood to the ground (Kilham 1972).
Foraging behavior may also change with relation to the dry and rainy seasons:
Dry Season: During the dry season, pairs often forage together, often within 15 m of each other. They are found foraging in mature forests, feeding on average at intermediate levels in the trees. The females have been observed to be the more active forager, as they often are the first to fly to a new tree (Kilham 1972).
Rainy Season: During the rainy season, these woodpeckers forage on relatively small branches, often on the underside of these limbs. It is presumed that during the rainy season, insects are particularly abundant on these undersides, where moisture tends to accumulate. However, the branches the Crimson-crested Woodpeckers forage on are significantly smaller than branches that woodpeckers of similar size often forage on (Kilham 1972).
Agonistic Behavior: Both females and males engage in agonistic behavior:
-Female vs. Female: Two females may align low on a series of trees, where they move about the trunks, one trying to shrike the other, or displaying. Conflicts such as these may be over territory, as several juveniles are present, and the conflict occurred at the end of nesting season (Kilham 1972).
-Male vs. Male: Two males were observed where one male was pursuing the other in short, heavy-sounding flights from tree to tree, centered around a large stub (suitable for nesting), which the two males often returned to. When the woodpeckers were resting, two direct conflicts were seen: the first was where one male clung upside down to a large limb and the other was perched on top and half opened its wings anytime the one below tried to go up top. The other was when both males flew in opposite directions and the territory owner drummed in a slow but reasonable fashion for about six minutes before attacking the intruding male (Kilham 1972).