Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Chilean Flicker (Colaptes pitius)


French: Pic du Chili German: Bänderspecht Spanish: Carpintero pitío

Picus Pitius


, 1782,



Plumage characters#R and recent phylogenetic analysis#R indicate that this species and C. rupicola are sisters. Birds in S Argentina named as race cachinnans on basis of proportionately shorter tail, but differences insignificant. Monotypic.


C & S Chile (Coquimbo S to C Magallanes) and adjacent SW Argentina (Neuquén S to W Santa Cruz).

Descriptive notes

c. 30 cm; 100–163 g. Male has dark slate-grey forehead to nape, blacker at sides, nape rarely with hint of red; buffish lores, area around eye and ear-coverts, buffish... read more


Distinct repeated “piteéu”; whistled variable “kwee”, singly or in... read more


Inhabits woodland and open wooded country, including open areas within Nothofagus forest,... read more

Food and feeding

Almost exclusively ants and their brood; other items, such as scorpions (Scorpiones) and grubs, occasionally taken. Roves about in noisy... read more


Reported in Oct–Dec. Known displays are head-swinging, bobbing with tail-spreading. Nest excavated in dead tree or stub, or in bank;... read more


Resident; possibly nomadic to some extent.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally rather common, though few data available. Occurs in Cerro La Campana, Nahuelbuta and Vicente Pérez Rosales National Parks (Chile); recorded... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Chilean Flicker (Colaptes pitius). 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 February 2020).