Pale-billed Woodpecker

Beautiful Birds of Belize Blog – Post #26

By Jim Gain


  • Scientific Name: Campephilus guatemalensis
  • Name in Spanish (Mexico): Carpintero Pico Plateado
  • Name in Mayan: Kolonté
  • ABA 4-Letter Bird Code: PBWO
  • Family: Picidae
  • Order: Piciformes
Pale-billed Woodpecker Image © Jim Gain

About this Species

The Pale-billed Woodpecker (Campephilus guatemalensis) is a striking bird species found in Belize and other parts of Central America. This large, black and white woodpecker is named for its distinctive pale ivory-colored bill, which is longer than that of most other woodpecker species. Adults typically measure around 18 inches in length, with males being slightly larger than females.

Pale-billed Woodpecker Image © Jim Gain

The Pale-billed Woodpecker is a bird of mature, lowland forests and prefers areas with large trees and abundant dead wood. Its diet consists mainly of insects, especially beetles, which it finds by hammering and excavating holes in trees with its powerful bill. The species is also known for its distinctive drumming, a loud and sustained series of knocks that can be heard from a distance.

Pale-billed Woodpecker Image © Jim Gain

Breeding season for the Pale-billed Woodpecker in Belize typically occurs from March to June. They lay their eggs in natural tree cavities or holes excavated in dead trees, with both parents participating in the incubation and care of the young. The species is generally solitary or found in pairs, but may form small groups during the non-breeding season.

Pale-billed Woodpecker Image © Jim Gain

Despite being listed as a species of Least Concern by the IUCN, the Pale-billed Woodpecker has experienced some population declines due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Conservation efforts in Belize have focused on protecting and restoring mature forests, which are crucial for the survival of this and other important bird species.

>> Next Post on Sunday, 5/21/2023 – Social Flycatcher

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