Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Crimson-mantled Woodpecker (Colaptes rivolii)


French: Pic de Rivoli German: Rotmantelspecht Spanish: Carpintero candela común

Picus Rivolii


, 1840,

no locality = near Bogotá, Colombia


Hitherto considered conspecific with C. atriceps, but differs in its black crown with fine crimson streaking either throughout (in male) or on hindcrown (in female) vs  pure black crown (2); crimson vs golden-buff edging of scaly breast feathers (2); more crimson and less golden-olive in secondaries and wing-coverts (2); longer bill (effect size 2.66, score 2); different song, quite different from “descending low churr” of atriceps#R (at least 2). Both were previously placed in Piculus, but recent phylogenetic analyses indicate that placement in Colaptes is more appropriate#R. Races rather poorly differentiated. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. r. zuliensis (Aveledo & Pérez, 1989) – Sierra de Perijá (N Colombia–NW Venezuela border).
  • C. r. quindiuna (Chapman, 1923) – Andes of NC Colombia#R.
  • C. r. meridae (Chapman, 1923) – W Venezuelan Andes (Trujillo to N Táchira).
  • C. r. rivolii (Boissonneau, 1840) – W Venezuela (S Táchira) S in Andes to EC Colombia.
  • C. r. brevirostris (Taczanowski, 1875) – Andes from SW Colombia S to C Peru.
  • Descriptive notes

    22–28 cm; 85–97 g (brevi­rostris), 100–112 g (rivolii). Male has black forehead to hindcrown feathers broadly tipped red, bright red... read more


    Sharp, upward-inflected “kawíp” or “kre-ép”, sometimes in... read more


    Tall humid and wet montane forests, especially mossy and epiphyte-rich rainforest and cloudforest,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants and their brood, beetle larvae, occasional spiders and millipedes (Diplopoda); some fruit also consumed. Forages alone, in pairs or in... read more


    Recorded in Feb–Mar in Colombia and Jun–Nov in Peru. In Ecuador, one male was recorded excavating nest hole in a tree in... read more


    Resident. Presumably altitudinal movements may occur sometimes.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common. Uncommon to fairly common and widespread in Ecuador; fairly common in Peru. Unobtrusive behaviour suggests that it is... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Bonan, A. (2019). Crimson-mantled Woodpecker (Colaptes rivolii). 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 21 November 2019).