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Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version


Lineated Woodpecker Dryocopus lineatus

I. S. Malekan
Version: 1.0 — Published February 4, 2011



Foraging Behavior: To retrieve food, they hammer or pry into both live and rotting wood and use their long barbed tongues to excavate insects (Short 1982). Gleaning is also common. Lineated Woodpeckers forage at all tree heights on trunks and large limbs, and sometimes on telephone poles. Males tend to have a preference for larger branches than females (Askins 1983).

Displays: Crest raising by pairs when in close proximity (Short 1982).


Wik or Long Calls are used to establish territories. Threat displays such as raising and lowering of the crest, flashing wings, and rapping are often a used to chase away nest competitors and intruders (Kilham and O'Brien 1979).

Sexual Behavior

Females typically initiate copulatory behavior by moving to the end of a tree limb and compressing their bodies with their rumps slightly raised in the air (invitation pose). While the female heads towards the branch end, the male ascends up the trunk of the tree and moves towards the female until cloacal contact is established. Copulations last 6-12 s (Kilham and O'Brien 1979). The Long Call may be uttered before copulation (Short 1982).

Social and interspecific behavior

Lineated Woodpeckers typically forage solitarily or in pairs, but may also forage in family groups of 4-6 birds.

Lineated Woodpeckers have several hole-nesting competitors that take an interest in woodpecker cavities, such as Collared Aracari (Pteroglossus torquatus), White-crowned (Pionis senilis) and Red-lored (Amazona autumnalis) parrots, Streaked Flycatcher (Myiodynastes maculatus), and Masked (Tityra semifasciata) and Black-tailed (Tityra cayana) tityras. Interspecific conflicts may result in which Lineated Woodpeckers demonstrate threat displays to protect their nests (Kilham and O'Brien 1979).


No information available.

Recommended Citation

Malekan, I. S. (2011). Lineated Woodpecker (Dryocopus lineatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.linwoo1.01