Cream-colored Woodpecker Celeus flavus

  • © Michel Giraud-Audine

The Cream-colored Woodpecker is a uniquely-colored ‘yellow” member of the genus Celeus, with a widespread distribution in South America. It is found throughout much of lowland Venezuela ranging east through the Guyanas, and south through much of Amazonia, including Ecuador, Colombia, Peru, Bolivia, and Brazil. It is comprised of several subspecies, that vary somewhat in the shade of yellow. Plumage is unique for a woodpecker, being pale creamy yellow with brown wings. As with most other Celeus, it has a large crest, the bill is yellow, and sexes differ by males having a flicker-like red moustache. The Cream-colored Woodpecker is characteristically found in the canopy of varzea forest, and along the edge of oxbow lakes. Although it overlaps with other Celeus woodpeckers, such as Ringed Woodpecker (Celeus torquatus) and Chestnut Woodpecker (Celeus elegans), both of which favor seasonally flooded forest like Cream-colored, it is unlikely to be confused with any other species. Like other members of the genus, it is known to forage on ants and termites. Call is a ringing “pee-pee-pee-pur,” the last note lower pitched than the first three, and noticeably different from the other overlapping species of Celeus.

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© Davis Finch

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

Recommended Citation

Cream-colored Woodpecker (Celeus flavus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: