Distribution in the Americas
Yellow-tufted Woodpecker has an extensive range in northern South America east of the Andes. The range extends from eastern Colombia south to central Bolivia and central Brazil, east to southern Venezuela, the Guianas, and eastern Amazonian Brazil (Riker 1891, Hilty and Brown 1986, Sick 1993, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Hennessey et al. 2003, Hilty 2003, Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Dasmahapatra et al. 2006, Walker et al. 2006, Lopes and Braz 2007, Herzog 2008, Stiles 2010).
Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers occupy a wide variety of habitats, limited largely by their dependence on dead trees for nesting cavities. They occupy primary rainforest (Diamond and Terborgh 1967), especially at clearings, such as treefalls, within forest (Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a, Schulenberg et al. 2010), várzea (floodplain) forest (Remsen and Parker 1983), second growth forest (Remsen and Parker 1983, Cardoso da Silva et al. 1996), forest remnants (McKay 1980), Amazonian river islands (Rosenberg 1990), and urban areas (Guix 2007). Yellow-tufted Woodpecker generally occurs at elevations between 250–1200 m altitude (Hilty 2003, Walker et al. 2006), although in some areas its elevational range is more constricted (e.g., below 700 m in the Apurímac Valley in Peru; Terborgh and Weske 1975) or is broader (e.g., locally up to 1300-1500 m in Ecuador; Ridgely and Greenfield 2001a).