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Forest and Rangeland Birds of the United States

Natural History and Habitat Use

Golden-fronted Woodpecker -- Melanerpes aurifrons

RANGE: Resident from southwestern Oklahoma and north-central Texas south through central Texas to Mexico and Central America.

STATUS: Locally abundant; populations may be declining because of mesquite control programs.

HABITAT: Prefers mesquite and riparian woodlands, but also inhabits semiarid brush country, pecan groves, and upland oak stands.

SPECIAL HABITAT REQUIREMENTS: Trees large enough for nest cavity.

NEST: Excavates nest hole in large living or dead trees, especially in mesquite, oak, and pecan. May also excavate holes in fence posts and telephone or electric poles; occasionally uses bird boxes.

FOOD: Gleans much of its food, which consists of insects, acorns, pecans, wild fruits, corn, and occasionally citrus.

REFERENCES: Bent 1939, Johnsgard 1979, Oberholser 1974a.

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