Most people know what woodpeckers are. A certain famous cartoon character probably has something to do with that but the television isn’t the only source of woodpecker awareness. Whether interested in birds or not, people also learn about woodpeckers because we see them in our backyards, they visit bird feeders, and have that particular behavior of hitching up tree trunks. Not to mention, most woodpeckers are also dressed in bold colors, make their presence known with piercing calls, and aren’t shy about using their bills to drill and drum on dead wood, shingles, or other materials.
In brief, woodpeckers are hard to ignore and are also found in many parts of the world. From the cold boreal forests of the high north to the heart of Amazonia, woodpeckers do their pecking thing and although many birders associate woodpeckers with temperate climates, the highest numbers of these unique beautiful birds occur in tropical ecosystems. Panama is no exception, these are a sampling of 20 woodpecker species found in this incredibly biodiverse country:
Black-cheeked Woodpecker– One of the common, beautiful woodpecker and bird species in areas with humid forest.
Red-crowned Woodpecker– This southern representative of the same clade as the Red-bellied Woodpecker will look and sound familiar to many birders from the USA.
Lineated Woodpecker– A widespread Neotropical species of edge habitats, it’s in the same genus as the Pileated Woodpecker.
Crimson-crested Woodpecker– As eye-catching and fancy in real life as its name!
Crimson-bellied Woodpecker– Shyer than other species, this big, striking woodpecker haunts the lower levels of humid forest.
Golden-green Woodpecker– A pretty woodpecker species of edge habitats in eastern Panama.
Spot-breasted Woodpecker– Yet another striking woodpecker, this one is related to flickers.
Cinnamon Woodpecker– One of two woodpeckers pertaining to the tropical Celeus genus in Panama, this handsome bird frequents the canopy of lowland and foothill rainforest.
Red-rumped Woodpecker– An uncommon small woodpecker species of riparian zones.
Olivaceous Piculet– Tiny and odd but still a woodpecker! On account of its size, easily overlooked but common in many areas with edge habitats.
Much to a birder’s delight, these are half of the 20 woodpecker species on the Panama bird list! Learn more about these and 1,000 bird species from Panama with the Panama Birds Field Guide app.
*The images of Crimson-crested Woodpecker, Golden-green Woodpecker and Spot-breasted Woodpecker were provided by Cindy Beckman of Cheepers! Birding on a Budget Tours.
**The image of the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker was provided by Josh Beck.