Chestnut woodpecker

Chestnut woodpecker
Celeus elegans

Photo by Maxime Dechelle (GEPOG)

Common name:
chestnut woodpecker (en); pica-pau-chocolate (pt); pic mordoré (fr); carpintero elegante (es); fahlkopfspech (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

This species is found in northern South America, east of the Andes, from eastern Colombia and eastern Venezuela, through the Guyanas and Trinidad, and into Maranhão e north-eastern Brazil, and south to northern Bolivia and Mato Grosso e central Brazil.

These birds are 26-32 cm long and weigh 95-170 g.

The chestnut woodpecker is mostly found in tall, moist tropical forests, including terra firme forests, gallery forests and swamp forests, but also use cocoa plantations. They occur from sea level up to an altitude of 1.100 m.

They feed on ants, termites and fly larvae, as well as berries and fruits such as Cecropia, citrus and introduced mangos.

Chestnut woodpeckers breed in January-May. They nest in cavities excavated by both sexes into the wood of a dead tree. The female lays 2-4 white eggs, which are incubated by both sexes for 11-14 days. The chicks fledge 18-35 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range but is described as uncommon. The chestnut woodpecker is suspected to lose 15-18% of suitable habitat within its range over the next 15 years based on a model of Amazonian deforestation. It is therefore suspected to suffer a small decline in the near future.

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