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Picumnus castelnau

Plain-breasted Piculet

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Monotypic

Authors: Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Hope Batcheller


The Americas

Plain-breasted Piculet is resident is a restricted area in the western Amazon Basin. The distribution of this species is centered on the Río Ucayali in eastern Peru, and from there downstream along the Amazon (Short 1982, Schulenberg et al. 2010). Distribution in Peru and Colombia of Plain-breasted Piculet. Solid circles: specimen records; open circles; sight records; dotted line: 1000 m contour (Schulenberg et al. 2006) It occurs in extreme southeastern Colombia along the Amazon (Remsen 1977, Hilty and Brown 1986). There is a single record for western Brazil at Maguiri, on the right bank of the rio Japurá, Amazonas (Sick 1997); its presence here suggests that Plain-breasted Piculet should occur along the Amazon east at least to Tefé.

Plain-breasted Piculet is entirely confined to the lowlands.

Outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Plain-breasted Piculet primarily occurs in forest on young river islands and riverbanks, but also spreads into secondary forest in mostly cleared land (O'Neill and Pearson 1974). This piculet is most numerous in the canopy of young river island forest of Cecropia with a mixture of Cassia or Albizzia/Mimosa; less commonly also in older forest of Erythrina glauca and Ficus spp., and in clumps of bushes and trees along edges of gardens and pastures (T.A. Parker, unpublished observations).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Schulenberg, Thomas S., and Hope Batcheller. 2012. Plain-breasted Piculet (Picumnus castelnau), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on the maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, but has been revised by Neotropical Birds Online.

The data for the Infonatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.