Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Bamboo Woodpecker (Gecinulus viridis)


French: Pic des bambous German: Rotscheitel-Bambusspecht Spanish: Pito del bambú sureño

Gecinulus viridis


, 1862,

Toungou, south Myanmar


Closely related to G. grantia, and in the past sometimes treated as conspecific; the two are thought to hybridize (see G. grantia). Birds from Peninsular Malaysia, tending to be shade darker, with narrower wingbars, females also with more uniform crown and nape, are sometimes separated as race robinsoni, but some individuals from N populations exhibit similar variation; recognition of races seems unwarranted. Monotypic.


SE Myanmar, NW Laos and N, W, C & S Thailand to SC Peninsular Malaysia

Descriptive notes

c. 25–26 cm. Male has red crown to nape, rest of head buff-brown, tinged yellow, more golden-green on rear crown side and neck side, darker and browner on chin;... read more


Single “bik” calls occasionally; most common is a dry rattle, changing in loudness and... read more


Evergreen and deciduous forest with extensive clusters of large bamboo. Lowlands in N of range, 600... read more

Food and feeding

Ants. Feeds singly or in pairs, mainly at lower levels; only occasionally descends to ground. Forages mainly on live or dead bamboo; gleans... read more


Apr–May. Nest excavated at up to 5 m in bamboo, above a node, cavity c. 25 cm deep. No other details known.



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon and local, depending on habitat availability; discontinuous distribution. Occurs in Nam Nao and Kaeng Krachan National Parks and... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Bamboo Woodpecker (Gecinulus viridis). 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 29 February 2020).