Red-necked Woodpecker Campephilus rubricollis

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Polytypic: 3 subspecies
  • Authors: William S. Benish



Active forging occurs from lower story to high in canopy, with birds typically found at middle to upper heights on trunks and limbs of tall trees (Winkler et al. 1995: 347). This species climbs mostly over live trunks, often remaining fairly low where they chisel bark surfaces and drill into rotten stubs. They are wary while foraging, often keeping on back sides of trunks and peering around when under observation.  A video clip by Alexandre Vinot shows a male Red-necked Woodpecker excavating a cavity in French Guiana at this link on Flickr. Flight is noisy on stiff wing feathers, hurtling and strongly undulating (Hilty and Meyer de Schauensee 2003).


No information.

Sexual Behavior

No information.

Social and interspecific behavior

This species is usually found in pairs or in small family groups (Winkler et al. 1995:347), however, foraging territories are large and individuals are often well separated (Hilty and Meyer de Schauensee 2003).


No information. Speculation based upon observations of other species within the same genus includes potential predation of eggs and nestlings by tree-climbing snakes and competition for nest and roost cavities from other cavity-inhabiting birds and mammals.

Recommended Citation

Benish, W. S. (2011). Red-necked Woodpecker (Campephilus rubricollis), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.