|West Indian Woodpecker (Melanerpes superciliaris)
The West Indian Woodpecker is distributed in Cuba, the Bahamas and Grand Cayman. It is found in forest, palm groves and mangroves.
It has a black and white barred back and tail while underparts are grey to buff with some barring on the lower belly and crissum. Both sexes have red nasal tufts but the male has a red crown and nape (as seen on photos 1 and 2) while the female only has red on the nape (as in photo 3).
It nests in holes which it excavates in dead trees and in live or dead palms. Its abandoned nest holes are often used by other species such as the Cuban Screech-owl, the Cuban Pygmy-owl, the Cuban Parrot and the Cuban Parakeet.
|It feeds on insects, larvae, lizards and frogs as well as fruit as can be seen in the 4th photo. Given its role in dispersing seed and providing nest holes for other species it is fortunately quite common in Cuba.|