Monday, 16 January 2012

Golden-fronted woodpecker

Melanerpes aurifrons

(Photo from Animal Pictures Archive)

Common name:
golden-fronted woodpecker (en); pica-pau-de-testa-dourada (pt); pic à front doré (fr); carpintero frentidorado (es); goldstirnspecht (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

This species is found from Texas and Oklahoma, in the United States, through Mexico and into Honduras and northern Nicaragua.

These birds are 22-27 cm long and have a wingspan of 43 cm. They weigh 65-102 g.

Golden-fronted woodpeckers are found in open and semi-open woodlands, second-growth forests and scrublands, generally preferring mesquite and riparian areas. They can also be found in rural areas and parks. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

These birds are omnivorous, eating both insects, namely grasshoppers, beetles and ants, but also acorns, seeds, fruits and berries. They are also known to take bird eggs and small lizards.

Golden-fronted woodpeckers nest in holes excavated into trees, fence poles, posts or sometimes cacti. The female lays 4-7 white eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 12-14 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 30 days after hatching. Each pair may raise 1-3 broods per year.

IUCN status - LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 1,7 million individuals. The population in the United States has had a stable trend over the last 4 decades; however, this represents less than half of the overall population.

No comments:

Post a Comment