Helmeted Woodpecker Celeus galeatus

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Martjan Lammertink, Kristina L. Cockle, Alejandro Bodrati, and Raphael E. F. Santos

Confined to a small range in southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay and extreme northeast Argentina, the Helmeted Woodpecker is considered Vulnerable by BirdLife International, and it is a generally very infrequently observed species outside a handful of strongholds. It occurs from sea level up to about 1,000 m elevation, in semi-deciduous forests as well as in mixed forests with Paraná pines (Araucaria angustifolia). Helmeted Woodpecker is the smallest of the world’s Dryocopus and shows some similarities in voice and appearance to Celeus woodpeckers. Its namesake crest is large and red and can be held in a variety of positions. It is best distinguished from the similar Robust and Lineated Woodpeckers by its cinnamon face without any white. The territorial call of Helmeted Woodpecker can be heard from over 500 m away, but it typically remains silent for much of the time. One of the rarest and most difficult-to-find of the Neotropical woodpeckers. The global population, while difficult to estimate, is probably between 400 and 8900 individuals and is in decline because of loss of forest cover and the logging of mature forests.


© Ted Parker

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

Recommended Citation

Lammertink, M., K. L. Cockle, A. Bodrati, and R. E. F. Santos (2012). Helmeted Woodpecker (Celeus galeatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.helwoo1.01