Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Species Profile: Golden-fronted Woodpecker

Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Melanerpes aurifrons

Learn more about this species in the Peterson Reference Guide to Woodpeckers of North America.

Introduction to the species

“This ladder-backed carpenter seems to be one of the most energetic home-builders among the birds of this hot country, for the male starts numerous nesting sites without apparently being able to sell his lady the idea that they are worth while locations.-
-Brandt 1940

One of the “ladder-backed” species in the Melanerpes genus, the Golden-fronted Woodpecker is a common permanent resident from southwestern Oklahoma through Texas and another 1,000 miles (1,600 km) into Central America. It is one of the most variable of our 23 woodpecker species, with as many as 14 subspecies recognized, although nearly all of this variability occurs south of the Rio Grande. Up to 10 of the southernmost subspecies, occupying tropical rainforests from southern Mexico to northern Nicaragua, were described in 2009 as belonging to a possible new species, the Velasquez’s Woodpecker, M. santacruzi.

Golden-fronted Woodpecker, Sabal Palm, Texas.Filmed by Stephen Shunk


Gallery of photos by Steve Shunk


Return to List of Species of North American Woodpeckers page.

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