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Golden-fronted Woodpecker Life History


Habitat Open WoodlandsOpen to semiopen woodlands, second-growth forests, and brushlands.Back to top


Food InsectsInsects, fruit, seeds, occasional birds' eggs and lizards.Back to top


Nest Placement

Nest Cavity

Nest Description

Nests in holes in limbs and trunks of live or dead trees.

Nesting Facts

Clutch Size:4-7 eggs
Number of Broods:1-2 broods
Egg Length:0.9-1.1 in (2.39-2.88 cm)
Egg Width:0.7-0.8 in (1.87-2.06 cm)
Incubation Period:12-14 days
Nestling Period:30-32 days
Egg Description:White.
Condition at Hatching:Naked and helpless with eyes closed.
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Behavior Bark ForagerGleans insects from bark, probes into holes and dead wood, scales bark, hawks for flying insects.Back to top


Conservation Low ConcernGolden-fronted Woodpecker populations declined between 1966 and 2014 by about 46%, according to the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 3 million, with 23% living in the U.S., and 64% in Mexico. The species rates a 9 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List. Golden-fronted Woodpecker populations may benefit from the proliferation of mesquite on rangeland.Back to top


Husak, Michael S. and Terry C. Maxwell. (1998). Golden-fronted Woodpecker (Melanerpes aurifrons), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. (2019). Longevity records of North American birds. Version 1019 Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2019.

North American Bird Conservation Initiative. (2014). The State of the Birds 2014 Report. US Department of Interior, Washington, DC, USA.

Partners in Flight (2017). Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

Sauer, J. R., J. E. Hines, J. E. Fallon, K. L. Pardieck, Jr. Ziolkowski, D. J. and W. A. Link. The North American Breeding Bird Survey, results and analysis 1966-2013 (Version 1.30.15). USGS Patuxtent Wildlife Research Center (2014b). Available from

Sibley, D. A. (2014). The Sibley Guide to Birds, second edition. Alfred A. Knopf, New York, NY, USA.

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