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Hoffmann's Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Photo by the late Jim Wood
Costa Rica, November 2008
Melanerpes hoffmannii


18 cm

  • Upperparts and wings barred black and white
  • White rump
  • Pale buffish-grey underparts
  • Yellow central belly patch


Photo by DiggitalD
Alajuela, Costa Rica
  • Red crown
  • White forehead
  • Yellow nape


  • White crown and forehead
  • Yellow nape

Young birds: duller, less white upperparts and less yellow on the belly


At Tarcoles River in Costa Rica, this species adjoins the very similar Red-crowned Woodpecker. In a narrow region around this river and somewhat to the south, the birds have orange in the rear of their necks, indicating some hybrid origin.


South America: found on the Pacific slope of southern Honduras, Nicaragua and northern half of the Pacific slope of Costa Rica.


This is a monotypic species[1].


Deciduous open woodland.



The nest hole is unlined and high in a dead tree. The 2 or 3 glossy white eggs are incubated by both adults.


The diet includes insects, often extracted from decaying wood, and fruit and nectar.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2014. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: Version 6.9., with updates to August 2014. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Garrigues and Dean 2007. The birds of Costa Rica - a field guide. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-0-8014-7373-9
  3. Wikipedia

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