Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Bar-breasted Piculet (Picumnus aurifrons)


French: Picumne barré German: Goldstirn-Zwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito del Amazonas
Other common names: Golden-fronted Piculet (yellow-crowned races)

Picumnus aurifrons


, 1870,

Engenho do Gama, Caiçara and Salto do Girao, west-central Brazil


May be more closely related to P. fuscus. Races juruanus and borbae, with red forehead streaks, formerly treated as forming a separate species (P. borbae), although from a biogeographical standpoint such treatment hardly seems likely. Seven subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. a. flavifrons Hargitt, 1889 – NE Peru and W Brazil (along R Solimões).
  • P. a. juruanus Gyldenstolpe, 1941 – E Peru, N Bolivia to W Brazil (upper R Juruá)#R.
  • P. a. purusianus Todd, 1946 – W Brazil (upper R Purus).
  • P. a. wallacii Hargitt, 1889 – middle and lower R Purus E to lower R Madeira.
  • P. a. borbae Pelzeln, 1870 – lower R Madeira E to lower R Tapajós.
  • P. a. transfasciatus Hellmayr & Gyldenstolpe, 1937 – R Tapajós E to R Tocantins.
  • P. a. aurifrons Pelzeln, 1870 – N Mato Grosso from upper R Madeira E to upper R Tapajós.
  • Descriptive notes

    7·5 cm; 8–10 g, male 9·2 g, female 8·6 g. Male has top of head black, yellow streaks mostly on forehead, remainder spotted white; buff lores, grey-... read more


    Call “tsirrrit-tsit-tsit”, resembling that of hummingbird (Trochilidae).


    Inhabits humid tropical terra firme forest, and also seasonally inundated vá... read more

    Food and feeding

    Virtually unknown; presumably insects. Recorded taking insect larvae. Seems to prefer the upper canopy for foraging.


    Season presumably Jun–Nov. Recorded making nest in Apr and feeding young in Oct. No other information.


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Very poorly known. Appears to be at best uncommon, but possibly overlooked. Occurs in Manu National Park and Tambopata Reserve, both in Peru.

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Bonan, A. (2020). Bar-breasted Piculet (Picumnus aurifrons). 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 19 January 2020).