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Celeus flavus, Cream-colored Woodpecker

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Cladus: Unikonta
Cladus: Opisthokonta
Cladus: Holozoa
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Megaclassis: Osteichthyes
Cladus: Sarcopterygii
Cladus: Rhipidistia
Cladus: Tetrapodomorpha
Cladus: Eotetrapodiformes
Cladus: Elpistostegalia
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Cladus: Avemetatarsalia
Cladus: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauriformes
Cladus: Dracohors
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Subordo: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Tyrannoraptora
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Paraves
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Cladus: Euavialae
Cladus: Avebrevicauda
Cladus: Pygostylia
Cladus: Ornithothoraces
Cladus: Ornithuromorpha
Cladus: Carinatae
Parvclassis: Neornithes
Cohors: Neognathae
Cladus: Neoaves
Ordo: Piciformes

Familia: Picidae
Subfamilia: Picinae
Genus: Celeus
Species: Celeus flavus
Subspecies: C. f. flavus – C. f. peruvianus – C. f. subflavus – C. f. tectricialis

Celeus flavus (Statius Müller, 1776)

Des Ritters Carl von Linné vollständiges Natursystem. Nach der 12. lateinischen Ausgabe und nach Anleitung des holländischen Houttuynischen Werks mit einer ausführlichen Erklärung. Supplement p. 91
Vernacular names
English: Cream-colored Woodpecker
suomi: Keltatikka
magyar: Sáfrányharkály
português: Pica-pau-amarelo

The cream-colored woodpecker (Celeus flavus) is unmistakably recognizable by its pale but distinct yellow plumage and beak, long erect crest, dark brown wings and black tail. The male is differentiated by the female by its thick bright red malar stripe. The yellow plumage may darken to a browner or darker tone if soiled. The cream-colored woodpecker is 24–26 centimetres (9.4–10.2 in) in height and weighs 95–130 grams (3.4–4.6 oz).


The four recognized subspecies of Celeus flavus are C. f. flavus, C.f. peruvianus, C.f. tectricialis and C.f. subflavus. These subspecies interbreed and produce many intermediates, blurring their original designated geographical boundaries. C.f. subflavus is significantly larger than its nominate, weighing on average 200g.
Range and Habitat

Native to South America, from Colombia, Venezuela and the Guianas to Peru, Bolivia, and the eastern part of Brazil, including a southeast Brazil coastal strip. The cream-colored woodpecker inhabits rainforests, mangroves, forests near water, deciduous woodland as well as cacao plantations. It does not migrate.

The cream-colored woodpecker emits a high-pitched laugh: "wutchuk kee-hoo-hoo-hoo" or "pueer, pueer, purr, paw" with the final note in a lower pitch. During interaction with other bird species, it may repeat "kiu-kiu-kiu-kiu". Less raspy and higher pitched than vocalizations of Chestnut woodpeckers (Celeus elegans).

Diet consists mainly of arboreal ants and termites, but generally supplemented by seeds and fruit. Forages singly and in groups, on trees as well as the ground. Frequently sighted pecking at termite nests on trees.

April to June in Colombia and slightly earlier in Venezuela. Nesting habits have not been documented.[2]
Status and Conservation

The cream-colored woodpecker is considered as generally uncommon but has been established as of Least Concern status. However, due to decreases every year in suitable habitat, it is predicted to decrease in population numbers over the next few decades.

BirdLife International (2016). "Celeus flavus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2016: e.T22681344A92902694. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2016-3.RLTS.T22681344A92902694.en. Retrieved 20 November 2021.

del Hoyo, Joseph (1992). Handbook of the Birds of the World - Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. pp. 522. ISBN 84-87334-37-7.

Birds of the World by Colin Harrison and Alan Greensmith, Eyewitness Handbooks

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