Sunday, 30 October 2011

Yellow-fronted woodpecker

Melanerpes flavifrons

Photo by Nick Athanas (Antpitta)

Common name:

Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

The yellow-fronted woodpecker is found in Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil.

These birds are 17-19,5 cm long and weigh 49-64 g.

They are mostly found in both coastal and mountainous areas of Atlantic tropical forests, but also in heavily degraded former forest, plantations and arable land.

Yellow-fronted woodpecker mostly eat fruits and seeds, namely oranges, bananas, papayas, avocados and other tropical fruits. They also eat insects and their larvae.

These birds breed in January-April. They are polygynous, with each male mating with 3-4 females, all of which lay their eggs in the same nest or in different nests in the same tree. The nest is excavated in the trunk of a dead tree or palm tree, where each females lay 2-4 shiny white eggs. The eggs are incubated by both sexes for 12 days and the chicks are fed by both sexes and fledge 5 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
The yellow-fronted woodpecker has a very large breeding range and is described as fairly common. This species is targeted by the international pet trade, but the population is not considered threatened at present.

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