Fossils of woodpeckers (Picidae) occur on Bermuda in late Pleistocene and Holocene deposits. Most of these are from a flicker (Colaptes), presumably derived from the North American Colaptes auratus that was smaller than all mainland forms of that species. The Bermuda flicker was larger than C. a. gundlachi of Grand Cayman and is named as a new species Colaptes oceanicus, that probably persisted into the colonial period (1600s). Three fossils are referred to the migratory Yellow-bellied Sapsucker (Sphyrapicus varius), which winters in small numbers on Bermuda. One distal end of a tarsometatarsus of a woodpecker appears to differ from either of the previous species, but its identity was not further determined. Colaptes oceanicus would probably have excavated nest holes in the resident palm trees (Sabal bermudana) and in rotten limbs and stumps of hardwoods. These excavations would have been crucial for the evolution of the small owl Aegolius gradyi and probably provided shelter for other Bermuda organisms as well.
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