Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
 - Yellow-tufted Woodpecker

Yellow-tufted Woodpecker Melanerpes cruentatus

Kara Jones
Version: 1.0 — Published November 25, 2014

Sign in to see your badges


Dubbed by one author the "harlequins of the forest canopy" (Hilty 2003), the colorful and noisy Yellow-tufted Woodpecker is common and conspicuous throughout the Amazon region of eastern South America. Highly social, these woodpeckers are seen most often in groups of 3-8. They make their presence known with frequent vocalizations and often perch out in the open. Yellow-tufted is a small, mostly black woodpecker with a white rump, and an elaborate yellow facial tuft that extends from a yellow eye ring; it also has a red belly. Yellow-tufted Woodpeckers are omnivorous and inhabit humid forests, forest borders, and clearings with tall dead trees. Yellow-tufted Woodpecker nests somewhat communally with multiple nests in a given area tended by family helpers from previous generations.

Distribution of the Yellow-tufted Woodpecker - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Yellow-tufted Woodpecker

Recommended Citation

Jones, K. (2014). Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.yetwoo2.01