Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Buff-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes grammithorax)


French: Pic à croupion fauve German: Wellenspecht Spanish: Pito barrado

Phaiopicus grammithorax


, 1862,

Malay Peninsula and Sunda Islands


Hitherto treated as conspecific with M. tristis, but differs in its black-and-buff-barred vs all-black breast to abdomen (3); rusty-buff vs stony-white barring and spotting on all areas of plumage, with buff vs white rump (2); dense barring giving way to plain buffy lores and eyering rather than continuing around eyes (2); and in male slightly less bright red moustachial stripe (ns[1]). Named races micropterus (Borneo) and microterus (Nias I) considered synonyms of grammithorax. Monotypic.


S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and peninsular Thailand S to Sumatra, including islands of Nias and Bangka, N Natunas, and Borneo (including Banggi I and islands off NE coast).

Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 31–50 g. Distinctive small, short-tailed, crested woodpecker. Male has short reddish malar patch; rest of head, crest and neck to upper breast greyish-brown with... read more


Single “pit” or “chit”, also as double click or in loose series, from mildly excited birds or in... read more


Primary forest and secondary forest, including swamp-forests; found in rather open coastal habitats... read more

Food and feeding

Ants, also other insects. Often in pairs, members of which keep more or less in close contact; may join mixed-species flocks. Forages in... read more


Season not well known, at least Mar–Jul. Both sexes display with head-swinging. Nest-hole excavated by both sexes, can be low, below 2 m,... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common to fairly common in most of range; extinct in Singapore. Occurs in several protected areas, e.g. Khao Nor Chuchi Reserve (... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Buff-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes grammithorax). 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 24 January 2020).