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Chestnut Woodpecker

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Asa Wright, Arima Valley

Photograph courtesy Dan Voydanoff

The species of Chestnut Woodpecker found in Trinidad is smaller and brighter than the species found in South America. This bird is a rich chestnut brown with a yellow rump and flanks. The tail and wings are black. The under wing coverts and flight feathers are yellow barred black, generally only visible from below. There is a well defined rear pointing tawny crest with a red malar stripe and yellowish white bill. Females are similar to males but do not have the malar stripe. Their size is approximately 11 inches (28cm) and weight is 127 grams.

This forest resident of Trinidad, feeds on insects that it gleans from the bark on the trunks of trees. It also chips of the bark to find insects hidden below and will also open termite nests. The Chestnut Woodpeck also feeds on fruit and will take table scraps.

They are sometimes seen singly but will associate in small groups of up to six birds. They can be very noisy birds and are usually seen on the lower branches.

Family - Woodpeckers

Other Names - Yellow-crested Woodpecker, Pale-crowned Crested Woodpecker

Latin Name - Celeus elegans

Range - Colombia south to Ecuador, Bolivia, the Guianas and Trinidad


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Asa Wright, Arima Valley

Photograph courtesy Stuart Elsom


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Birds of Venezuela. Steven L. Hilty. 2003, Christopher Helm, London

A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. 2nd edition, Richard ffrench. 1992, Helm, London

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All photographs (unless otherwise stated) are the property of Brian Ramsey. No portion of the material on this site, including the photographs, may be reproduced without the express written consent of Outdoor Business Group Limited and Brian Ramsey. The permission of the other owners of the photographs must also be obtained for use.   

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Last modified: February 16, 2008