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Yellow-tufted Woodpecker Melanerpes cruentatus

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Kara Jones
  • © Glenn Bartley

Dubbed by one author the "harlequins of the forest canopy" (Hilty 2003), the colorful and noisy Yellow-tufted Woodpecker is common and conspicuous throughout the Amazon region of eastern South America. Highly social, these woodpeckers are seen most often in groups of 3-8. They make their presence known with frequent vocalizations and often perch out in the open. Yellow-tufted is a small, mostly black woodpecker with a white rump, and an elaborate yellow facial tuft that extends from a yellow eye ring; it also has a red belly. Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers are omnivorous and inhabit humid forests, forest borders, and clearings with tall dead trees. Yellow-tufted Woodpecker nests somewhat communally with multiple nests in a given area tended by family helpers from previous generations.


© Paul A. Schwartz

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

Jones, K. (2014). Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.