Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Crimson-winged Woodpecker (Picus puniceus)


French: Pic grenadin German: Rotflügelspecht Spanish: Pito alirrojo

Picus puniceus


, 1821,



Closely related to P. chlorolophus; separated altitudinally in small area of range overlap. Proposed race continentis (Malay Peninsula) merely averages slightly larger. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. observandus (E. J. O. Hartert, 1896) – S Myanmar (S Tenasserim) and peninsular Thailand S to Sumatra (including Bangka) and Borneo.
  • P. p. soligae Meyer de Schauensee & Ripley, 1940 – Nias I (off NW Sumatra).
  • P. p. puniceus Horsfield, 1821 – Java.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 25 cm; 66–96 g. Male has dark red forehead to hindcrown, often dark olive feather bases showing through, elongated crest of red feathers, yellow under crest and down... read more


    Distinctive “peé-bee”, second syllable a little lower and shorter, sometimes... read more


    Evergreen primary and secondary forest with scattered tall trees, forest edge, secondary growth,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Mainly ants and termites (Isoptera), including their eggs and grubs. Forages singly, but mainly in pairs, partners keeping contact at... read more


    Feb–May; Jun in Borneo, and Sept in C Java. Conspicuous crest-raising display, with upward bill-pointing. Nest-hole is high up, to 18... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common throughout range; one of the most frequently encountered woodpeckers in Malaysian rainforest; extinct in Singapore. Occurs in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Crimson-winged Woodpecker (Picus puniceus). 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 January 2020).