Pale-billed Woodpecker Campephilus guatemalensis

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

Sounds and Vocal Behavior


A characteristic call of the Pale-billed Woodpecker is a variable, nasal chatter or sputter (Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995; e.g., ML 28104). Less frequently heard calls include low whining notes giving by a pair when they meet at the nest (Skutch 1969) and a low whining or moaning call (Skutch 1969). A loud “bleating” call also is reported (Sutton and Pettingill 1942, Skutch 1969), which Sutton likened to a call of the Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus principalis) (Sutton and Pettingill 1942).

Nonvocal Sounds

The drum of the Pale-billed Woodpecker is typical of Campephilus woodpeckers: a loud, rapid, double rap (Skutch 1969, Stiles and Skutch 1989, Howell and Webb 1995). Rarely, the drum is a resonant series of up to seven rapid raps (Howell and Webb 1995).

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.