Data on almost all aspects of the breeding of the Pale-billed Woodpecker are limited. Few nests have been reported. Most information on the timing of the breeding season is derived by inference from the presence of fledged young, rather than from direct observation of nests (Short 1982). Based on the limited evidence, the timing of breeding also varies latitudinally. The breeding season in southern Mexico extends from December to June (Miller et al. 1957). Farther south in Costa Rica, however, the breeding season is from August to December (Skutch 1969):
Both sexes help to excavate the nest cavity (Sutton 1952, Kilham 1977a). The nest is in a cavity in a large tree, often in a dead tree in a clearing in forest. The nest height is variable; reported nest cavity heights vary from 3-12 m above the ground (x= 8 m, n = 6; Skutch 1969, Kilham 1977a). The cavity entrance of one nest was 10 x 8.9 cm, and the depth of the cavity was 32 cm (Skutch 1969). The eggs in the nest rested on fine particles of wood at the bottom of the cavity (Skutch 1969). The clutch size is two; the eggs are white and ummarked (Skutch 1969). Both sexes incubate the eggs.
Both the incubation period and the time from hatching to fledging are unknown.