Monday, February 8, 2010

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Crimson-crested Woodpecker - Metropolitan Park Panama_MG_2278-291, originally uploaded by fveronesi1.

I love the clarity, colors and composition in this photo!  It's a beautiful female Crimson-crested Woodpecker in the Metropolitan National Park, Panama very close to Panama City.  The male's head is virtually all red, whereas females - as depicted by the bird in this photo - display a whitish area around the bill that extends into a broad black-bordered white moustache.   So the female Crimson-crested Woodpecker has a moustache and the male has no moustache at all.  Imagine that! 

Check out this photo of the male bird by the same photographer:  See it here.

Thanks to fveronensi1 for this Creative Commons licensed photo.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

This photo of a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker was taken in the Metropolitan National Park, Panama - amazingly close to Panama City!

Check out a few key identification marks of the species. The male's head is almost all red and has a small black and white oval patch. Both the male and female show white around the base of the bill. The locale where this photo was taken along with the dark bill indicate that this bird is of the malherbii subspecies (named after Alfred Malherbe) as compared with the species in the southern part of its range.

View the Crimson-crested Woodpecker's Range Map.

Thanks to fveronesi1 for this Creative Commons licensed photo.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker Eats Beetle Larva

A close-up of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker extracting a beetle larva from a hole in a trunk.

Pájaro Carpintero vs Serpiente

Originally posted 10/9/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

This dramatic video of a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker defending its nest against a Yellow-bellied Puffing Snake has been around for quite a while.  I've resisted posting it here because I cannot trace it to its owners.   If anyone has the information on who this video belongs to, I'd be grateful to receive it so I can give due credit.

Here's an interesting comment from snakescientist on YouTube: 

For anyone interested, the snake species is Pseustes sulphureus, and are native to the Amazon river basin. They are non venomous, semi arboreal, and feed on rodents, birds, etc. Obviously, they are quite adept at raiding birds' nests and consuming nestling birds and eggs. The woodpecker is defending the nest site against attack.

Many of you have already seen this video.  If so, it's worth another viewing.  And I'm sure it will be a first-time view here for someone!

Crimson-crested Woodpecker in Ecuador

Originally posted 11/11/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Ecuador 2010, originally uploaded by L. Kay.
This photo of a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker shows the white feathering at the base of the bird's bill very well along with the black that extends from its neck to upper breast. Thanks to Larry Kay for granting permission to post his photo taken in Ecuador here.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker in Colombia

Originally posted 8/27/12 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
Here's some nice video footage of a beautiful female Crimson-crested Woodpecker looking around her forest somewhere in Colombia. You may want to change the settings for this one to 1080p HD at your end (in the video box) to enjoy it at highest quality.

Carpintero Real Pico Amarillo

Originally posted 8/24/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Carpintero real pico amarillo [Crimson-crested Woodpecker] (Campephilus melanoleucos melanoleucos) (♀) by barloventomagico

A beautiful female Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Carpintero real pico amarillo, appears here in a fine photo by barloventomagico.  This bird's image was captured at La Pomarrosa Farm, Barlovento in north-central Venezuela.

Photo posted here under Creative Commons License. 

Campephilus melanoleucos. fêmea. Niquelândia.

Originally posted 4/28/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here's a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker with a wonderful expression, looking a little joyful and perhaps even a little crazy!  This photo is © Alexandre Curcino.  It was taken in Niquelândia, Brazil and is posted here with permission.  Niquelândia has one of the largest reserves in the world of what metal?   Find out here.

Put Put Putta!

Originally posted 5/8/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

This video is best viewed in the enhanced version.  Be sure to click 360p in the lower right corner of the frame above and select 480p as soon as it starts to play.

When they are not keeping silent, Crimson-crested Woodpeckers exhibit a great variety of calls.  In this brief video clip, a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker makes a series of vocalizations that sounds a bit like wild laughter!  In their book Woodpeckers, Hinkler, et al., remark that in these birds,
 Shrill, piping put put puttas, which may be kept up for minutes,
indicates great excitement.

Funny, the title of this video on YouTube is Амазонский малиновохохлый дятел (Pileated Woodpecker).

You can also listen to a similar series of calls here:

- Woodpeckers: A Guide to the Woodpeckers of the World by H. Winkler, D. A. Christie & D. Nurney


Originally posted 7/1/2011 - backdated to organize posts by topic.
pica-pau-de-topete-vermelho (Campephilus melanoleucos) by Alessandro Abdala

Enjoy one of the finest photos that I have ever seen of  a male Pica-Pau-de-Topete-Vermelho, the Crimson-crested WoodpeckerIt's difficult to imagine the colors, detail and lighting being any better than what we see here!   This photo was taken in Sacramento MG - Brasil by Allesandro Abdala, a designer, photographer and published writer.  It is posted here with his permission.  To see more of A. Abdala's amazingly beautiful photography, visit his site here:

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

This video of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker from YouTube is nice and clear.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

IMG_2433_crimson crested woodpecker--female, originally uploaded by joel n rosenthal.
Many thanks to Joel N. Rosenthal for granting permission to post this photo of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker.

Pica-pau-de-topete-vermelho - Pantanal-MS,BR

Originally posted 7/17/2011 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

In this brief, interesting video you'll see a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker working on a rotting tree trunk in Brazil.

Crimson-crested Woodpeckers

This beautiful illustration of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker (upper left) and one male comes from the four-volume Monographie des picidées (1859-1862), French ornithologist Alfred Malherbe (1804 -1865) (or 1804-1866?).  I believe the bird on the lower left is a juvenile female.  Describing every known species of woodpecker, the monograph was printed in 100 (or 120?) copies and accompanied by hand-colored lithographs.  No surprise, the Wikipedia entry on Alfred Malherbe in French at this link contains more information than the English entry.

A bit more information about this work appears at at this link and also see a very detailed mention of it in The Ibis, A Magazine of General Ornithology, Vol. I, 1859
at this link
.  (You'll want to search for "Malherbe" using your browser if you visit the above two pages).

As for the price of Malherbe's magnificent work, a Google books scan of American Book-Prices Current, Volume 13 lists the 4 volumes with 121 colored plates at a mere $46.

Flash forward to November 11, 1992 and the work sold for $12,482 at Christie's, according to this link here!

Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Preening

Originally posted 9/26/2010 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here's another video that David Ascanio recently posted at the Internet Bird Collection.  It's an impressive capture of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker doing some preening.  Notice how she raises her crest 15 seconds into the video.  Beautiful!  He made this video in El Manteco, Bolívar State, Venezuela. 

Mr. Ascanio is with Ascanio Birding Tours.  Here are two excerpts from his site:

We have  been operating and leading birding tours in Venezuela, Colombia, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and Guyana since 1986. We arrange tailored birding trips to Rancho Grande, the plains (Llanos), the Andes, the mountains of Paria, Lake Maracaibo basin, Perija mountains, Brownsberg reserve, Iwokrama, the Orinoco Delta and one of the premier endemic bird areas of the continent: the tepuis. We are the experts in Sierra de Lema, Roraima, Gran Sabana, Auyan tepui and many other of these incredible table top mountains.

Ascanio Birding Tours is the only company that seriously ties bird tourism with research and conservation in Venezuela. Based on a board decision, every fiscal year we invest no less than 20% of our profits in research projects and conservation programs with several Venezuelan NGOs, including the Venezuela Audubon, Aves de Venezuela and the Phelps Ornithological museum. In addition, we usually support students participation in professional events such as ecology congresses, field stations and workshops.

Sounds awesome!

Crimson-crested Woodpecker in French Guiana

Originally posted 1/31/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Campephilus melanoleucos, originally uploaded by mazama973.

Here's a nice photo of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker taken in northeast French Guiana by Michel Giraud-Audine and posted here with permission. French Guiana lies north of Brazil and east of Suriname on the northeast coast of South America. The Red-necked Woodpecker is the other member of the Campephilus genus that can be found there.

Crimson-Crested Woodpecker, Chilling Out!

Originally posted 9/24/2010 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here is a video of a chilled-out Crimson-crested Woodpecker.  It is a male bird as indicated by the entirely red head with a small black and white patch below the ear.   Many thanks to David Ascanio, who posted this video recently at the Internet Bird Collection.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Here is a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker, taking in some sunshine.  The photographer noted the place of this photo as La Pomarrosa Farm, Barlovento, north center Venezuela.  Creative Commons licensed photo.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Crimson Crested Woodpecker, originally uploaded by crookrw.
A male Crimson-crested Woodpecker, seemingly pausing for his portrait.  Creative Commons licensed photo.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

This photo originally uploaded by leo! on Flickr.

Here is a beautiful photo of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker sitting on a bare tree trunk.

And let's take a closer look at her marvelous red and black crest!  Creative Commons licensed photo.

This photo originally uploaded by leo! on Flickr.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker with Raised Crest Feathers

Originally posted 9/10/2010 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Playing hide 'n seek #4, originally uploaded by wmlub.
Here's a very nice photo of a female Crimson-crested Woodpecker raising her black and red crest. It's no surprise that woodpeckers can raise and lower their crest feathers. But the fact that the crest is relaxed, or lowered, more often than it is raised makes photos like this one quite uncommon! Thanks to wmlub for granting permission to post his photo here.

Crimson-crested Woodpeckers - Ladies Club

ladies club, originally uploaded by brodmann's 17.
Many thanks to brodmann's 17 from Flickr for granting permission to post this amazing photo of two female Crimson-crested Woodpeckers here.

The Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Light and Dark-billed

Originally posted 8/7/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

I hope that you are enjoying whatever season it happens to be wherever you are in the world. It's been quite a while since my last post because I've been on vacation in northwestern Spain and Portugal, where I was hoping to see the Great Spotted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos major) and the Green Woodpecker (Picus viridis), each for the first time.

Fortunately, I found them in Galicia, Spain (GSWO, in a recently burned section of a pine forest) and in Ponte de Lima, Portugal (GRWO, in a riparian forest), both in the very early morning hours. I was thrilled to see them, though my photos of the birds are nothing special.

You can see super photos and read numerous posts on both birds over at Woodpeckers of Europe at these links:

Now, back to those woodpecker's larger relatives, within the Campephilus genus, here are two illustrations for you.

Light bill, dark bill.  These illustrations from Alfred Mahlerbe's Monographie des Picidées both depict the Crimson-crested Woodpecker (so far as I can tell!).  The nominate species with the greyish-ivory to almost white bill appears above, and it has a range in South America east of the Andes mountains, south to Argentina and Brazil.  A subspecies is illustrated below, and it is named after Malherbe.  It has a dark grey to brown-grey bill and ranges from western Panama to north and west Columbia.

These illustrations are within the public domain and appear here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York. 


- Woodpeckers: A Guide to the Woodpeckers of the World by H. Winkler, D. A. Christie & D. Nurney

Confusion Species - Lineated Woodpecker

The Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus), a relative of the Pileated Woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus), is often confused with the Crimson-crested Woodpecker, and vice versa. But by comparing this picture with those of the Crimson-crested Woodpecker, the differences do become obvious. The red mustache and full red crest of this bird tells us it's a male.  Creative Commons licensed photo.

Two Woodpeckers, in Mexico

Originally posted 1/4/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

UPDATE:  After posting this photo, a friend of mine expressed doubt that the topmost bird is a Lineated Woodpecker.  For example, the tail feathers much more closely resemble those of a Pale-billed Woodpecker.  Also, the white markings on lineateds do not typically come together in the "V" shape apparent here on the bird's back whereas they do meet like that in pale-bills.   So, based on appearance alone, I'd call both of these birds as pale-bills.  In corresponding with John Lofgreen, he maintains that he did indeed observe and capture a Lineated Woodpecker as the upper bird in this image.   In any event, it's an interesting and pleasing image that I'm grateful to have here.
Here is another photo that is extraordinary because it includes two species of woodpeckers that are rarely photographed together.   The Pale-billed Woodpecker belongs to the Campephilus genus.   The Lineated Woodpecker belongs to the Dryocopus genus (the same genus that Pileated and Black Woodpeckers belong to). These two birds look similar and so are confusion species.  It is not uncommon to see each bird listed as the other species on photos posted on the web.

Many thanks to John Lofgreen of Anchorage, Alaska for sharing this photo here.  He almost caught a third woodpecker species with these two!  As he wrote:

This is another photo from Singayta. The lower bird on the left, is a Pale-billed Woodpecker. The upper bird is a Lineated Woodpecker. This was the last photo on that roll of film. While I was changing rolls, a Golden-cheeked Woodpecker landed next to them, but all three birds were gone before I was ready to shoot again. What a photo it would have been.

 John is a published wildlife artist.  You can find more of his beautiful work here:

 at his site John Lofgreen Wildlife Art and at his blog  The Life of a Painter

Singayta is a good bird watching location close to San Blas, Nayarit on the west coast of Mexico.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker

Crimson-crested Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Charles Hesse.

Many thanks to Charles Hesse for granting permission to post this photo of a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker from Llanos de Moxos, Beni.

A Pair of Crimson-crested Woodpeckers

Originally posted 4/2/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Home building, originally uploaded by fredshome.
Here is a pair of Crimson-crested Woodpeckers at their nest hole. The female bird is on the right. Creative Commons licensed photo.

Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Drumming

Originally posted 3/20/12 - backdated to organize posts by topic. 

Carpintero real pico amarillo [Crimson-crested Woodpecker] (Campephilus melanoleucos melanoleucos) (♀) by barloventomagico
Photo of female Crimson-crested Woodpecker by barloventomagico posted here
 under Creative Commons license.

This post originally included a video showing a male Crimson-crested Woodpecker engaged in drumming behavior.   Unfortunately, the video was removed from YouTube by the person who posted it. Although you can find auditory clips of Crimson-crested Woodpeckers drumming at the Macaulay Library and at Xeno Canto, I'm was not aware of any other videos, to date, that show this behavior when I created this post.

Here is an excerpt on drumming from an article entitled Habits of the Crimson-crested Woodpecker in Panama (1972) by Lawrence Kilham who spent much time observing these and other birds, especially woodpeckers:

Instrumental Expressions

Drumming is typically a strong blow followed by short, weak, vibratory roll, “DA-drrr.” Such bursts usually come at a rate of one to two per minute, three per minute being a fast rate. This drumming serves a number of functions. Single “DA-drrs,” given occasionally throughout the day, enable members of a pair to keep in touch as they travel through woods together; duets of them continuing for periods of up to 20 minutes may occur at the height of courtship and just prior to copulation; while louder drumming, delivered against a resonating stub, is usually related to territorial disputes and assertions of dominance. This abbreviated drumming of C. melanoleucos, which at times can be no more than a single “DA,” appears to be the same as that described by Tanner (1942) for the Ivory-billed and by Short (1970a and b) for the Magellanic (C. magellanicus) and other Campephilus woodpeckers in South America. Although both sexes of C. melanoleucos drum, males drum far more than females during the nesting season.

You can find the full-text of Kilham's article here:

Crimson-Crested Woodpecker

Originally posted 7/11/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Crimson-Crested Woodpecker, originally uploaded by Billtacular.
A male Crimson-Crested Woodpecker stands out very well in this photo by Billtacular, posted here under Creative Commons license.

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