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Picumnus olivaceus

Olivaceous Piculet

  • Order: Piciformes
  • Family: Picidae
  • Polytypic 6 Subspecies


Picumnus olivaceus

Betanci, Córdoba, Colombia; 21 March 2009 © Juan D Ramirez Rpo

The Olivaceous Piculet is the piculet of Central America. Distributed from Guatemala south to western Ecuador, extreme northwestern Peru, and northwestern Venezuela, this species is found in open forest and forest clearings. There is subtle but significant geographic variation, with six named subspecies across the range. Like other piculets, the Olivaceous is a tiny woodpecker with a very short tail that is not used for support. It is most often found by searching through a mixed-species foraging flock or listening for the quiet tapping produced when it hammers at a branch in pursuit of its primary foods, ants and termites. Both sexes excavate the nest cavity and then sleep in it both before and during incubation.


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Recommended Citation

. 2010. Olivaceous Piculet (Picumnus olivaceus), 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. The data for these 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.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest edge
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory
  • Foraging Behavior:Hammer
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Mixed Flocks
  • Mating System:Monogamy
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 2 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern