Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Amazonian Black-breasted Woodpecker (Celeus occidentalis)


French: Pic d’Amazonie German: Amazonas-Schwarzbrustspecht Spanish: Carpintero pechinegro amazónico

Cerchneipicus occidentalis


, 1889,

upper Ucayali, Peru


Hitherto considered conspecific with C. torquatus and C. tinnunculus, but differs from former in its lack of black collar and mantle (3), buff-and-black-barred vs uniformly tawny-rufous belly to vent (3), black-barred mantle, back, flight-feathers and tail (2), darker head (ns[1]); also, hybrid zone in NE Brazil (at least 1); differs from C. tinnunculus (to which it is closer morphologically) in having upperparts rufous-chestnut with well-spaced narrow black bars on back and wings vs completely barred black and buffy-rufous (3), limited black in outer tail vs black three outer rectrices (2), slightly darker head and barring on underparts (1), and shorter bill (estimated 2). Named race angustus (from R Tapajós, in Brazil) regarded as synonym of occidentalis. Monotypic.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.

NE Ecuador, SE Colombia and W & C Amazonian Brazil E to S Venezuela, and S to E Peru, N Bolivia and Mato Grosso.

Descriptive notes

c. 26 cm; c. 134 g. Male has broad red band from malar region to lower edge of ear-coverts; rest of head, including bushy crest, hindneck, chin and upper throat dark rufous-... read more


Series of 3–5 loud whistled “kleee”, “kuu”, “pee” or “deeee” notes, e.g.“pur PEE PEE PEE”, evenly... read more


Humid lowland forest; to 725 m in Peru.

Food and feeding

Ants and seeds recorded in diet, and said also to visit termite nests and to eat fruit. Singly or in pairs, or in loose groups of up to... read more


No information available.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Has very large range, within which it is locally common in Brazil, scarce to uncommon or rare in Ecuador, fairly common but local in... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N., Sharpe, C.J. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Amazonian Black-breasted Woodpecker (Celeus occidentalis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 12 December 2019).