Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: Thomas S. Schulenberg



Foraging behavior

The Pale-billed Woodpecker primarily forages on the trunks of large trees and on the larger limbs. Most foraging is in the mid and upper stories of forest, although sometimes they forage closer to the ground, on low stumps and on logs (Slud 1964, Short 1982, Winkler and Christie 2002). This woodpecker excavates decaying wood for food, and also forages by using the bill to scale bark off of dead wood.

Roosting behavior

Pale-billed Woodpeckers roost solitarily in large cavities, similar to the holes used for nesting (Skutch 1969). The same roost cavity may be used for periods of at least several months (Skutch 1969).


No information.

Sexual Behavior

Little information. The Pale-billed Woodpecker is monogamous, or at least socially monogamous.

Social and interspecific behavior

The Pale-billed Woodpecker usually forages as solitarily, or as loosely-associated pairs. It is not reported to associate with mixed species flocks.


Little information. Cavities excavated by Pale-billed Woodpeckers are used by other species, especially by Collared Aracaris (Pteroglossus torquatus). The aracaris do not only use old woodpecker cavities, but also have been observed to usurp a cavity under excavation by a mated pair (Kilham 1977b).

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, T. S. (2009). Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.