Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

The Acorn Woodpecker is one of Costa Rica’s largest species, only topped in length by the Lineated and Pale-billed Woodpeckers. The funny-looking pattern on its face earns it the local name “little clown”, with a conspicuous red crown, and a black and yellowish-white mask that cover the face and throat. The iris is almost white, and the bill is black. While the back and wings are entirely black, the chest has black and white streaking, and the belly is white. The female can be identified by a small black patch on the front of the crown, whereas the male’s crown is entirely red. Their inhabit the highlands, particularly Cerro de la Muerte (Buenavista) and Cordillera de Talamanca, where they are very common. Their call display is also very showy when compared with other Costa Rica woodpeckers.

Acorn Woodpecker - Melanerpes formicivorus - Carpintero Careto (Payasito)

Among Costa Rican woodpeckers, the Acorn has the funniest look of all

Acorn Woodpecker - Melanerpes formicivorus - Carpintero Careto (Payasito) (3)

Caught in the middle of the display, males swing their body from one side to the other when giving their call away

Acorn Woodpecker - Melanerpes formicivorus - Carpintero Careto (Payasito) (2)

Their face pattern is very conspicuous, specially over a green background typical of cloud forests

Acorn Woodpecker - Melanerpes formicivorus - Carpintero Careto (Payasito) (1)

The black-and-white streaking pattern on the chest can be fully appreciated on this frame

One thought on “Acorn Woodpecker (Melanerpes formicivorus)

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

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