Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Blood-colored Woodpecker (Veniliornis sanguineus)


French: Pic rougeâtre German: Blutrückenspecht Spanish: Carpintero sanguíneo

Picus sanguineus

A. A. H. Lichtenstein

, 1793,



Relationships uncertain; plumage characters suggest that this species is closest to V. passerinus. Molecular study required. Monotypic.


Coastal lowlands of the Guianas.

Descriptive notes

c. 13 cm; 23–30 g. Male has brown forehead faintly spotted white, crimson-red crown to hindneck with brown feather bases and centres usually fairly visible; brown... read more


Common call single “keek” notes; fast series of c. 16 “wih” notes also given; nestlings produce... read more


Mangroves, swampy forest, also coffee plantations; lowlands.

Food and feeding

Ants, beetles (Cerambycidae), caterpillars. Usually singly or in pairs. Forages in trees and shrubs of various kinds.


Recorded in Feb–Mar and May–Nov in Surinam. Hole excavated by both sexes, working for up to 2 months, low down (e.g. 1·4 m) in... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Reasonably common. Fairly widespread in its range, but restricted to lowlands of the Guianas. No information on numbers, but probably secure; loss of... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Blood-colored Woodpecker (Veniliornis sanguineus). 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).