Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker - Tapichalaca, Ecuador

Originally posted 8/10/11 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

It's always great to find a good photograph of a Crimson-bellied Woodpecker because they are the least often photographed species of the Campephilus genus. They're also known by the name Splendid Woodpecker.  The white band down this bird's neck identifies it as a female. The male's neck is all red.  

Thanks to Luke Seitz for granting permission to post his photo here! He writes:

My experience with this individual was pretty brief, but it was the first time I'd seen the east slope subspecies of Crimosn-bellied, which is quite a bit brighter than the west slope subspecies and potentially a separate species...definitely a great bird either way!

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, Tapichalaca

Originally posted 12/5/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Seeing this photo of a male Crimson-beliied Woodpecker is exciting because this large, colorful bird is so seldom photographed!  Female birds look similar to males, but they have a white band down the side of their neck.  It also goes by the name Splendid Woodpecker.  It is a forest-dwelling bird that can be found in eastern Panama, Columbia, Ecuador and Peru.

This fine photo was taken in Tapichalaca, Ecuador by Pati Rouzer and it reaches us courtesy of Patty McGann.

You can hear the bird's call here:

And see it's range map along with other sound recordings, including double raps, here at xeno-canto:

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker © Dubi Shapiro, posted with permission.

This striking image of a Crimson-bellied Woodpecker was taken by Dubi Shapiro At Wildsumaco Lodge in December, 2008.   Wildsumaco is a new lodge built in the Andes foothills in eastern Ecuador.  This bird is a male.  In females, the white band across the cheeks continues down the side of the neck.  Rarely photographed, it is described as a very shy woodpecker that prefers to forage at low levels in dense forest.  In can be found along mountains of Central and northern South America from Panama through Colombia and western Ecuador to Peru.   

Many thanks to Dubi for letting me share this photo with you.  Dubi has an extensive collection of remarkable wildlife photography.

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

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker Illustration

Originally posted 12/14/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Here is a hand-colored lithograph depicting the very colorful Crimson-bellied Woodpecker in Plate IX by Delahaye from Alfred Malherbe's Monographie des picidées (1859-1862).  Figure 1 and 3 represent male birds and figure 2, the bird with the white band on its neck, is a female.  Over the past several months, I have been posting the plates from this monumental work which illustrate the eleven species of Campephilus woodpeckers, a task that is now complete with the posting of this ninth plate. 

The monograph contains large illustrations of both sexes of the 140 woodpecker species new to science at the time and reduced illustrations of the known species.  The birds depicted here in the left background are Orange-backed Woodpeckers.  Not within the Campephilus genus, the large Orange-backed Woodpecker (Reinwardtipicus validus) of South-east Asia is the sole member of its genus.  Along with the members of the Flameback or Chrysocolaptes genus, perhaps (based upon its appearance) it is one of the species that is more closely related to the Campephilus tribe than the other woodpeckers.   

I was able to photograph all 123 hand-colored lithographic plates from the Monographie des picidées.  Each plate contains beautiful and interesting illustrations.  I hope to make all of the plates available online in the future, though I am not sure when I will get to it.  In the meantime, please feel free to contact me if you're ever in need of the corresponding plate for a particular woodpecker species.

This image within the public domain appears here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker Double-Knocks

Originally posted 1/12/12 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

The Crimson-bellied Woodpecker is rarely captured on video, so it is exciting to find this high quality video of a male bird. Observe it doing a series of double-knocks, typically used by members of the Campephilus genus as communication signals, and you will notice the bird raising its crest after some of the knocks. This video by Andres Vasquez was captured in Mashpi Rainforest Biodiversity Reserve, La Delicia, Pichincha Province, Ecuador, located two and a half hours drive northwest of Quito.

Mégapic à Cou Rouge

Originally posted 6/6/10 - backdated to organize posts by topic.

Marvelous hand-colored lithographs of each Campephilus woodpecker species appear in Alfred Malherbe's extraordinary Monographie des Picidées, a work that dates back to the early 1860s.  These along with many other illustrations depict the then known species of woodpeckers in a total of 123 fine, hand-colored lithographic plates by C.Delahaye, A. Mesnel and P.Oudart under the direction of Malherbe.  This one is a detail from Plate IX which is entitled Mégapic à Cou Rouge, the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker. 

What is an aficionado to do but spend an afternoon off visiting the rare book room at a local university to examine this epic tome and secure high quality images, as freely permitted at said institution, and then share them with you here at Campephilus Woodpeckers?  And so, I present you with just a bit of something to truly look forward to, if you enjoy this sort of fantastic imagery.

You can read more about Alfred Malherbe's magnificent work at this post. 

And, see this work's depiction of the largest woodpecker in the world right here.

The additional  Campephilus illustrations from Malherbe's work will be coming here soon!

This image within the public domain appears here courtesy of the Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Columbia University in the City of New York.

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker

Image in the public domain, courtesy of Cornell University Library
Digital Collections, Fuertes Illustration Collection at

                              Context: Annotation: "Campephilus Peruvian Andes"
                              Date: 1911c.
                              Location: Rare and Manuscript Collections
                              Medium: Pencil;Watercolor
                              ID Number: 2662-800-0670 
                              Size: 9" x 5.75" 
                              Support: Paper
                             Type: Studies;Watercolors
                             Title: Crimson-bellied Woodpecker

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