Lineated Woodpecker

Information about the Bird Lineated Woodpecker

The lineated woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus) is a very large woodpecker which is a resident breeding bird from Mexico south to northern Argentina and on Trinidad.

The lineated woodpecker is 31.5 to 36cm (12.4 to 14.2in) long. It resembles the closely related pileated woodpecker (Dryocopus pileatus) of United States and Canada.
Adults are mainly black above, with a red crest and whitish lines from the base of the bill, down the neck and shoulders (though individuals from the south-eastern part of its range commonly lack the line on the shoulders). The underparts are whitish, heavily barred with black. They show white on the wings in flight. Adult males have a red line from the bill to the throat (malar) and a red forehead. In adult females, these plumage features are black. The bill is typically black in both sexes, though pale-billed individuals regularly are seen.
The call of this widespread but wary bird is a loud, ringing wic-wic-wic. Both sexes drum.
In most of its range, it is most likely confused with the crimson-crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos), which is similar in plumage and size. In the female of that species, the light face line is far broader, and the white shoulder lines meet on the back lower back (forming a "V"). The male crimson-crested woodpecker is quite different with its almost entirely red head.
The habitat of this species is forest borders and other open woodland. It is not generally a mountain bird, though it has occasionally been recorded in the uplands (e.g., in the Serrana de las Quinchas of Colombia) Three white eggs are laid in a nest hole is in a dead tree and incubated by both sexes. The young are fed by regurgitation.
Lineated woodpeckers chip out holes, often quite large, while searching out insects in trees. They mainly eat insects, especially ants, beetles and their larvae, with some seeds, such as from Heliconia, and fruits, berries, and nuts.
Lineated woodpeckers breed March-April in Panama, April-May in Belize, and February-April in Trinidad and Suriname. Nest cavities are excavated in dead trees at variable heights, from 2to 27m (6.6-88.6ft) above the ground. Both sexes excavate the nests, which are about 45cm (18in) deep, 13cm 18cm (5.1in 7.1in) wide, and have an entrance about 9cm (3.5in) in diameter. Clutch size ranges from 2-4 eggs (2-3 in Trinidad). Males and females take 2-3 hour shifts incubating during the day, but only males incubate at night. Chicks are fed about once an hour by both parents through regurgitation; the female does most of the feeding while the male guards the nest. Incubation and fledging periods not documented.

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