Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Melanerpes aurifrons

Order

PICIFORMES

Family

Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Code 4

GFWO

Code 6

MELAUR

ITIS

ILLUSTRATION

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PHOTOS

CONSERVATION STATUS

Least Concern

The Golden-fronted Woodpecker is generally located in North America. It resides in multiple woodlands throughout Texas and Oklahoma, and is especially rampant in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Nests are drilled out of trees, which are later reused by other species of birds. Taller varieties of pecan, oak and mesquite are the preferred materials for nests. In urbanized areas, they may also use telephone poles, fence posts and man-made bird boxes. The Golden-fronted Woodpecker primarily eats insects and vegetation. Their favorite food is grasshoppers, but they also dine on beetles and ants. The conservation rating of the Golden-fronted Woodpecker is Least Concern.

IBIRD EXPLORER GENERAL

PHOTO SHARING AND DISCUSSION

BIRD PHOTOGRAPHY

SUMMARY

Overview

Golden-fronted Woodpecker: Medium-sized woodpecker with black-and-white barred back and wings, white rump and black tail. Head has golden yellow-orange nape, red cap, small yellow patch at base of upper mandible, and buff-gray face. Underparts are gray-white. Black bill, legs and feet.

 

Range and Habitat

Golden-fronted Woodpecker: Resident in southwestern Oklahoma and central Texas south into Mexico. Frequents open woods in dry country and river bottoms with trees. Found in open woodlands, particularly in riparian zones. Can be found in isolated groves of trees, and usually avoids dense unbroken forest.

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Golden-fronted Woodpecker SONGS AND CALLS

Golden-fronted Woodpecker A1

Drumming and "tchur-r-r" calls.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker A2

Raspy calls from a male.

Similar Sounding


Voice Text

"churrrrrrr-churrrrrrrr", "kek-kek-kek-kek-kek-kek", "check, check"

INTERESTING FACTS

  • The Golden-fronted Woodpecker consumes about as much fruit and nuts as it does insects. In summer in Texas, the faces of some woodpeckers become stained purple from eating fruit of the prickly pear cactus.
  • It is composed of four subspecies that differ in size, amount of barring on the tail, and the color of the nape, nasal tufts, and belly. The four forms were formerly considered different species.
  • This bird was first described by Johann Georg Wagler, the German herpetologist. The original scientific name was Centurus aurifrons.
  • A group of woodpeckers has many collective nouns, including a "descent", "drumming", and "gatling" of woodpeckers.

SIMILAR BIRDS

RANGE MAP NORTH AMERICA

About this North America Map

This map shows how this species is distributed across North America.

FAMILY DESCRIPTION

TERMINOLOGY

CREDITS

Author

Gary Owen Dick

Artist

Samira Belous

HELP ME IDENTIFY A BIRD

BACKYARD BIRDING

BIRDS AND BIRDING

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UnderpartsX

Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

CapX
The area on top of the head of the bird.
FaceX
The front part of the head consisting of the bill, eyes, cheeks and chin.
NapeX
Also called the hindneck or collar, it is the back of the neck where the head joins the body.
RumpX
The area between the uppertail coverts and the back of the bird.
Upper mandibleX
The upper part of the bill.
RiparianX
Relating to or living or located on the bank of a natural watercourse (as a river) or sometimes of a lake or a tidewater. 
Parts of a Standing bird X
Head Feathers and Markings X
Parts of a Flying bird X