Fun Crimson-crested Woodpecker Facts For Kids | Kidadl


Fun Crimson-crested Woodpecker Facts For Kids

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The crimson-crested woodpecker is a species of bird that belongs to the Picidae family and is a member of the genus Campephilus. These large birds are named after the presence of a distinct red crest on their head. Their range mainly covers various parts of South America including northern Argentina and Brazil. They are also widespread from Panama to Trinidad. They are quite similar in appearance to the lineated woodpecker. However, the 'V' shaped white band does not converge on the back of the lineated woodpecker. Moreover, the white stripe on its face is comparatively narrower.  These account for the main differences between crimson crested and lineated woodpeckers and help in their identification.

During the breeding season, these birds form monogamous pairs and perform courtship displays. They build the nest on dead tree trunks. After mating, the crimson-crested woodpecker female lays around two to three white eggs. The young male attains reproductive maturity after one year. The International Union for Conservation of Nature or IUCN Red List has listed the crimson-crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) as species of Least Concern. Their predators mainly include hawks, foxes, and coyotes. Please continue reading to find out more about the fascinating crimson-crested woodpecker!

If you liked reading this article, then do check out cockatoo facts and hummingbird facts!

Fun Crimson-crested Woodpecker Facts For Kids

What do they prey on?

Ants, termites, caterpillars, larvae

What do they eat?


Average litter size?


How much do they weigh?

6.3-10 oz (180-285 g)

How long are they?

12.9-14.9 in (33-38 cm)

How tall are they?


What do they look like?

Black, red

Skin Type


What were their main threats?

Humans, Foxes, Hawks

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them?

Woodlands, Gallery Forests


Brazil, Argentina, Panama, Trinidad









Crimson-Crested Woodpecker Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a crimson-crested woodpecker?

The crimson-crested woodpecker is a species of bird belonging to the Picidae family. It is a member of the genus Campephilus and is also known as a black and white woodpecker.

What class of animal does a crimson-crested woodpecker belong to?

This species belongs to the class Aves. The crimson crested woodpecker's scientific name is Campephilus melanoleucos.

How many crimson-crested woodpeckers are there in the world?

There are between 5 million and 50 million individuals in the world.

Where does a crimson-crested woodpecker live?

This New World bird is mainly found in various parts of South America. It is a resident species and does not migrate throughout its range. A crimson crested woodpecker range map extends from northern Argentina and the south-eastern part of Brazil to Panama and Trinidad. The range of this resident species often converges with that of the lineated woodpecker.

What is a crimson-crested woodpecker's habitat?

The preferred habitats of these birds include tropical and subtropical forests, gallery forests, and woodlands. They usually prefer habitats that provide large trees. They excavate holes in the dead tree trunks to build a nest. They also reside in plantations, forest edges, and clearings. These birds often inhabit pastures and wetlands. These birds are found up to an elevation of 8202.1-9842.5 ft (2500-3000 m) from sea level.

Who do crimson-crested woodpeckers live with?

These birds mostly stay in pairs or small groups. Each group, commonly known as a descent, comprises four to five individuals.

How long does a crimson-crested woodpecker live?

The exact lifespan of a crimson-crested woodpecker is not known. Normally, woodpeckers are known to live for 4-12 years in the wild.

How do they reproduce?

These birds form monogamous pairs during the breeding season. Both the adult male and the female bird excavate the nest on dead tree trunks. These holes are quite large and have an oval shape. After mating, the adult female birds lay around two to three white eggs inside the nest. These white eggs are incubated by both parents for a short span of 9-14 days. Their nesting period extends for a longer duration than the incubation period. The adult male birds are also involved in parental care including feeding the chicks. The chicks often remain with the parents till the next breeding season. The young male attains reproductive maturity after one year.

What is their conservation status?

The International Union for Conservation of Nature, or IUCN, Red List has listed the crimson-crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) as a species of Least Concern. However, the destruction of habitat and climate change are the major threats encountered by this species.

Crimson-Crested Woodpecker Fun Facts

What do crimson-crested woodpeckers look like?

The crimson-crested woodpecker male has a red stripe extending from the bill to the throat.

Both the male and female species of crimson-crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) look similar to each other. The red crest on their head is in contrast to the overall black plumage. The crest of the female is slightly larger than the male. They have contrasting white stripes on the neck that converges downward to make a 'V' shape on the back. The underparts of the throat and tail feathers are also black in color. The underparts of its plumage are buffy-white and barred with dark shades. They have a strong bill that is slightly wheatish in color and greenish-gray legs. They also have a pair of yellow eyes with grey eye-rings. The young have a brownish barred plumage and a pinkish-red head.

How cute are they?

Their cuteness usually stems from their appearance. The presence of a prominent red crest, contrasting black plumage, white stripes on the neck and back, black throat, and wheatish bill make them cute.

How do they communicate?

A crimson crested woodpecker, also known as a black and white woodpecker, communicates through a range of vocalizations. It has a pair of sharp nasal calls that sound like 'chisic' and 'ttt-he-he'. During the breeding season, these birds communicate through drumming. They drum by beating their bills repeatedly on a hard surface. Their mating calls are usually low-pitched.

How big is a crimson-crested woodpecker?

A crimson crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) is around 12.9-14.9 in (33-38 cm) long. It is shorter than the ivory-billed woodpecker, a member of the same family, which is 18-20 in (48-53 cm) long.

How fast can a crimson-crested woodpecker fly?

The exact speed of a crimson-crested woodpecker is not known. However, woodpeckers have an undulating pattern of movement during flight. They fly with quick wing beats followed by a glide.

How much does a crimson-crested woodpecker weigh?

A crimson crested woodpecker (Campephilus melanoleucos) weighs around 6.3-10 oz (180-285 g). This bird weighs more than the red-headed woodpecker, a member of the same family, which weighs 2.5-2.6 oz (70-75 g).

What are the male and female names of the species?

They have no sex-specific names.

What would you call a baby crimson-crested woodpecker?

A baby crimson-crested woodpecker is known as a chick.

What do they eat?

Their diet consists of a variety of insects like ants and termites. They also feed on caterpillars, larvae, and small invertebrates. A portion of their diet also consists of berries and fruits. Their main predators include hawks and foxes.

Are they poisonous?

No, this species is not poisonous.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these birds cannot be kept as pets. They are a species of wild bird and therefore it is illegal to keep them as pets in various parts of the world.

Did you know...

The scientific name for the crimson crested woodpecker, Campephilus melanoleucos, is derived from a Greek word. Campe is coined from the Greek word 'Kampe' which means caterpillar and 'philo' meaning the one who likes. Again, 'melanos' is a Greek word meaning black and 'leucos' means white.

Do crimson-crested woodpeckers migrate?

No, these birds are resident species and do not migrate.

Are crimson-crested woodpeckers endangered?

No, these birds are not considered to be endangered. However, the destruction of their habitat and climate change has resulted in the decreasing population trend of this species.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other birds from our flycatcher facts and whiskered treeswift facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable crimson topaz coloring pages.

Written By
Moumita Dutta

<p>A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.</p>

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