Gray-crowned Woodpecker Colaptes auricularis

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Cara Thompson and C. J. Beardmore


Conservation Status

Gray-crowned Woodpecker is a tropical resident of high tri-national concern (Mexico-U.S.-Canada) to Partners in Flight (Berlanga et al. 2010). Although this species is classified as Least Concern by IUCN (BirdLife International 2014), it is endemic to northwest Mexico, where it is threatened. Based on determinations of habitat loss, Berlanga et al (2010) estimated that 15-49% of the population has been lost in Mexico during the last century, and it is likely that similar rates of loss have occurred throughout the species’ range. Although possibly decreasing in numbers, it still has a large population size and does not approach levels that indicate conservation concern (BirdLife International 2014). It has an estimated world breeding population of 20,000-49,999 mature individuals (BirdLife International 2014), and has a resident distribution of about 203,000 km2 (BirdLife International 2014).

Effects of human activity on populations

Gray-crowned Woodpecker faces heightened risk because of its specialization on threatened tropical highland forest habitats. The primary threat to this species is loss of this habitat type due to conversion to agriculture, wood harvesting, and livestock grazing (Berlanga et al. 2010).

Recommended Citation

Thompson, C. and C. J. Beardmore (2014). Gray-crowned Woodpecker (Colaptes auricularis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.