Guadeloupe woodpecker

Melanerpes herminieri

SUBFAMILY

Picinae

TAXONOMY

Picus herminieri Lesson, 1830. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Pic de la Guadeloupe; German: Guadeloupespecht; Spanish: Carpintero de Guadeloupe.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

9.4 in (24 cm), 3.1-3.5 oz (87-100 g); glossy black above and black with dull red overtones below. Sexes alike. Juveniles less glossy and with dull red-orange tinge below.

DISTRIBUTION

Found only in Guadeloupe in the West Indies; 75% of the population of 10,000+ birds are on the more forested island of Basse-Terre.

HABITAT

Semi-deciduous to evergreen forest, including upland, mangrove, and swamp forest.

BEHAVIOR

Moves deliberately through the forest; returns frequently to fruit-bearing trees.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Forages mainly on trunks and larger branches; diet includes insects, fruit, and seeds.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Typically excavates nest cavity in the trunk of a dead stub; nesting occurs February-August; both parents share incubation of 3-5 eggs; incubation period 14-16 days; young fledge at 33-37 days.

CONSERVATION STATUS

The Guadeloupe woodpecker is considered a Near Threatened species; clearcutting, conversion of forest habitats to other uses, and removal of dead trees are major threats; introduced rats may prey on eggs and nestlings. ♦

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