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Ochre-backed Woodpecker

From Opus

Male Ochre-backed WoodpeckerPhoto © by Rodrigo ConteBrasilia, Brazil, 17 April 2016
Male Ochre-backed Woodpecker
Photo © by Rodrigo Conte
Brasilia, Brazil, 17 April 2016
Celeus ochraceus


[edit] Identification

27–30 cm (10½-11¾ in)

  • Black upperparts with narrow white or buff stripes
  • Blond crest
  • Red malar and cheek band
Female Ochre-backed WoodpeckerPhoto © by Francisco PaludoArajara Park, Barbalha, CE, Brazil, July 2017
Female Ochre-backed Woodpecker
Photo © by Francisco Paludo
Arajara Park, Barbalha, CE, Brazil, July 2017


  • Streaked black and white
  • Lacks red malar stripe

[edit] Similar Species

Differs from similar Blond-crested Woodpecker in that Ochre-backed Woodpecker is smaller, has darker head, and pale barring on upperparts much broader and more broken up into scaling and dotting.

[edit] Distribution

South America: Lower Amazonian Brazil (south of the Amazon in Pará); northeastern Brazil, from Maranhão south to northern Goías and east to Ceará, Pernambuco, and western Bahia

[edit] Taxonomy

This species is split from Blond-crested Woodpecker in accord with AOS-SACC (Proposals 742 and 793)

[edit] Subspecies

This species is monotypic[1]:

[edit] Habitat

Humid forest, savanna and scrub.

[edit] Behaviour

[edit] Diet

Their main diet consists of ants and termites, with the addition of some fruit.

[edit] Breeding

They nest in tree holes, often utilising the nests of arboreal ants.

[edit] Vocalisations

Loud tsew tsew, wee-wee-week, also well-spaced series of wheep notes.

[edit] References

  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2018. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2018. Downloaded from
  2. Arthur Grosset
  3. Birdforum thread discussing taxonomy of Celeus woodpeckers
  4. del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Ochre-backed Woodpecker (Celeus ochraceus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 November 2018).

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