Yellow-tufted Woodpecker (Melanerpes cruentatus)
 Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, São Gabriel da Cachoeira, Amazonas, Brazil, August 2004 - click for larger image Brazil

The Yellow-tufted Woodpecker is distributed in the Amazon Basin where it inhabits forest, forest borders and clearings. A vital element in their habitat seems to be the existence of tall, dead trees.

Male Yellow-tufted Woodpecker, Vila Bela da Santissima Trindade, Brazil, March 2003 - click for larger image There are two morphs though I have only ever seen the one shown here with the white or pale yellow supercilium extending to the nape. The dark morph does not show this although it does show the yellow eye with the pale eyering, the white lower back, the red belly and the black bars on the whitish flanks. The male has a red crown which is missing from the female.

They are very social and noisy and are usually found in family groups of several individuals. They eat fruit and seeds as well as insects.

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