Pale-billed Woodpecker

name = Pale-billed Woodpecker

status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Piciformes
familia = Picidae
genus = "Campephilus"
species = "C. guatemalensis"
binomial = "Campephilus guatemalensis"
binomial_authority = Reichenbach, 1854

The Pale-billed Woodpecker ("Campephilus guatemalensis") is a very large woodpecker which is a resident breeding bird from northern Mexico to western Panama.


The habitat of this species is wet forests and adjacent second growth or semi-open woodland. Two white eggs are laid in an unlined nest hole 3-30 m high in a tree and incubated by both sexes. The young hatch naked and are fed by both parents.


The Pale-billed Woodpecker is 37 cm long and weighs 255g. It resembles the Lineated Woodpecker, but is larger and more robust.

The adult is mainly black above with a pale bill, bushy crest, and white lines down the shoulders which almost meet in a V on its back. The throat is black and the rest of the underparts are white, heavily barred with black. The male has a red head and crest; the female is similar, but the crest and throat are black. The female can be distinguished from Lineated Woodpecker by the absence of a white facial stripe.

This bird has a diagnostice drumming with two quick powerful taps. Its call include nasal rattles and a "keeu keeu keeu keeu" breeding call.

Pale-billed Woodpeckers chip out holes, often quite large, while searching out insects in trees. They mainly eat beetle larvae, with some berries or other fruit.

This bird has been adversely affected by deforestation in parts of its range.


* Stiles and Skutch, "A guide to the birds of Costa Rica" ISBN 0-8014-9600-4

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