Melanerpes formicivorus is a medium-sized woodpecker with a black and white barred back, a red crown, and a white throat. It is found in open woodlands, orchards, and suburban areas in the western United States and Mexico. Its lifespan is typically 6-10 years, and its current population is stable. It feeds mainly on insects, but also eats fruits, nuts, and berries. It is distinguished by its loud, ringing call and its habit of storing food in tree crevices.
Name Origin: The scientific name of the organism, Melanerpes formicivorus, is derived from the Greek words melas (black) and herpēs (creeper) and the Latin words formicivorus (ant-eating). This reflects the organism's black plumage and its diet of ants.
Related Species: Colaptes auratus, Sphyrapicus varius, Picoides pubescens, Dryocopus pileatus