Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)

This is medium sized woodpecker that can be found in the Caribbean and northern part of the country. The male has red back and top of the head, with a yellow patch in the front, while the female has whitish top of the head (nape). Both have black cheeks, which give this species its name. Other notable features are its black wings with white dots, black back with white barring, yellowish flanks with black barring and red belly, which gives the bird a very contrasty look. It’s call is a piercing chirrr, chirrr, chirrr that can be heard from afar and make identification of the species easier.

Like most woodpeckers, they make holes in trees for nesting, which are then reused by other species, hence their success can indirectly impact population sizes for other species. It’s not uncommon to see either the male or female inside the hole, with just the head out, watching out for potential predators as they keep their eggs or chicks safe inside. Something more peculiar is seeing this birds pecking at public lampposts made out of concrete, I have not yet deciphered why would they do that. On feeders, they like to eat papaya, but they will also catch small insects for food.

black-cheeked woodpecker, male - melanerpes pucherani - carpintero carinegro, macho

Woodpeckers perch upside down sometimes. In this occasion, a male perched below an inclined branch

Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Male - Melanerpes pucherani - Carpintero Carinegro, Macho (1)

This bird is bigger than most tanagers, which helps to get priority when feeding on fruit. They do not display aggressive behavior, like some others did

Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Male - Melanerpes pucherani - Carpintero Carinegro, Macho (2)

The male Black-cheeked Woodpecker is pretty in my opinion. A female was also hanging around, but I did not get a picture of her

Black-cheeked Woodpecker, Male - Melanerpes pucherani - Carpintero Carinegro, Macho (5)

When seen from the front, the red belly looks conspicuous, even under the shade. Also note the barred flanks with some yellowish on the belly and chest

 

One thought on “Black-cheeked Woodpecker (Melanerpes pucherani)

  1. Pingback: Hairy Woodpecker (Picoides villosus) | The Nature Admirer

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