Checkered Woodpecker (Veniliornis mixtus)
(aka Chequered/Checked Woodpecker Picoides mixtus)
Female Chequered Woodpecker, Guaraí, Tocantins, Brazil, February 2002 - click for larger image Guaraí, Tocantins, Brazil
February 2002

The Checkered Woodpecker is found from north-east Brazil to central Argentina and is found in a variety of open woodland habitats including this cerrado habitat in Tocantins.

Male Chequered Woodpecker, Guaraí, Tocantins, Brazil, February 2002 - click for larger image The male in the second photograph shows the red nape which is absent in the female in the first photo. The subspecies shown here, P. m. cancellatus is noticeably browner than subspecies found further south.

They are quite small woodpeckers at about 14 cms (5½") and are noted for foraging on twigs and branches rather than on main trunks. They eat both insects and seeds.

For the justification of moving this species and Striped Woodpecker from the genus Picoides to that of Veniliornis see the South American Classification Committee.

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