Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Cream-backed Woodpecker (Campephilus leucopogon)


French: Pic à dos crème German: Weißmantelspecht Spanish: Picamaderos dorsiblanco

Picus leucopogon


, 1826,



This species, and all current congeners except C. magellanicus, C. principalis and C. imperialis, formerly placed in genus Phloeoceastes. Supposedly larger birds from SW of range named as race major, but matched in size by birds elsewhere in species’ range. Monotypic.


NC Bolivia (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz) and W & C Paraguay to NC Argentina (S to La Rioja, Córdoba, Entre Ríos, Corrientes), N Uruguay and SE Brazil (W Rio Grande do Sul).

Descriptive notes

28–30 cm; 203–281 g. Rather large, with short tail. Male has small oval spot of black and white at lower rear ear-coverts; rest of head and crest red, red tips... read more


Call “pi-ow” or “kwee-yaw”, sometimes repeated; whirring notes during close... read more


Xeric woodlands of Chaco; occurs in savanna, pastures with copses, groves, woodland and... read more

Food and feeding

Larvae of beetles. Generally solitary outside breeding season. Forages in tall trees, isolated trees in open areas; descends to fallen logs... read more


Mainly in Sept, also Oct–Nov. Nest-hole built at 6–8 m in tree or palm; entrance described as “droplet-shaped”. A... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Poorly known; probably not common. Occurs in El Rey and Calilegua National Parks and Chancaní Provincial Park (Argentina).

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Cream-backed Woodpecker (Campephilus leucopogon). 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).