Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Black-necked Woodpecker (Colaptes atricollis)


French: Pic à cou noir German: Graustirnspecht Spanish: Carpintero peruano

Chrysopicos atricollis


, 1850,



Sometimes placed in a separate genus Chrysoptilus with the other “forest flickers” C. melanochloros (with C. melanolaimus) and C. punctigula, but phylogenetic analyses indicate that placement in Colaptes appropriate#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. a. atricollis (Malherbe, 1850) – W slope of Peruvian Andes from La Libertad and Ancash S to N Tacna.
  • C. a. peruvianus (Reichenbach, 1854) – Marañón Valley S on E slope to W Huánuco.
  • Descriptive notes

    26–27 cm; 73–90 g (atricollis). Male has dark grey forehead to hindcrown, feathers tipped red on forehead and crown side, occasionally over entire crown... read more


    Short repeated “peah” and “chypp”, mainly in alarm; loud clear “wic... read more


    Arid to semi-arid areas in dry cloudforest, montane scrub with large cacti, desert scrub, and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants and their larvae and pupae. Usually singly or in pairs. Essentially arboreal, but also forages near or on ground, often among bushes.... read more


    Probably Jun–Jul, and Sept (Marañón Valley), although in Ica, in one nest chicks were fledged both in Mar and in Jul... read more


    Resident. Presumably some altitudinal movements may sometimes occur.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon generally; locally somewhat more common. A little-known scrubland woodpecker restricted to Peruvian Andes. Observed... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (2020). Black-necked Woodpecker (Colaptes atricollis). 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 25 February 2020).