Hoffmann's Woodpecker Melanerpes hoffmannii

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Luis Sandoval



Hoffmann’s Woodpeckers live in pairs year round and sleep alone inside cavity-nests (Skutch 1969, Stiles and Skutch 1989). They forage mainly from the understory to the canopy, although sometimes is possible to observe individuals catching insects from the ground.


They defend nest cavities against conspecific pairs and against tityras (Tityra sp.).

Sexual Behavior

Hoffmann’s Woodpeckers apparently are social monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

Hoffmann's Woodpeckers are in pairs year round, and apparently the fledged young remains in the parental; territory for a couple of months after leave the nest. This woodpecker species is very territorial against tityras (Tityra sp.) during the breeding season. to avoid losing cavities to nest theft. Hoffmann’s Woodpecker also attacks strongly mobs pygmy-owls (Glaucidium sp.) (Stiles and Skutch 1989, personal observations).


There are no reports of predation on Hoffmann's Woodpecker. Likely predators at woodpecker nest or roost cavities include raccoons, coatis, rats, and snakes, and these woodpeckers also are vulnerable to predation by pygmy-owls (Glaucidium sp.) and by hawks or falcons.

Recommended Citation

Sandoval, L. (2013). Hoffmann's Woodpecker (Melanerpes hoffmannii), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.hofwoo1.01