Melanerpes portoricensis is the only common woodpecker found on the island of Puerto Rico. It is rare on the island of Vieques.
The Puerto Rican Woodpecker has a black upper body with bright red throat and breast and a white forehead and rump patch. Lower body is buff (light yellow)
Like most woodpeckers, M. portoricensis uses its chisel-like bill, long, barbed tongue and sticky saliva to glean food from bark and holes it drills in trees. It eats beetle larvae, earwigs, ants and other insects. It will also occasionally eat spiders, frogs and lizards as well as berries and fruit. Using its bill, the male bird chisels-out nesting cavities in trees (and sometimes even power poles!) so that the female can lay 1 to 6 white eggs. When flying it flaps its wings several times, pauses, and then flaps again giving it a distinctive undulating, wavy flight pattern. Enjoy!!!