Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei)


French: Pic de Macé German: Isabellbrustspecht Spanish: Pico pechileonado
Other common names: Fulvous-breasted Pied Woodpecker

Picus Macei


, 1818,



Forms a species-pair with D. atratus. Until recently, generally treated as conspecific with D. analis, but separated#R by its bright red vs pale pink vent (2); less extensive white barring on tail (3); dark-streaked breast sides vs lightly spotted breast  (2); dirty buff vs stony-buff underparts, notably on chin and throat (ns[1]); larger size, with no overlap in measurements (expected score at least 2); different voice (expected score at least 2). Name of NW race sometimes spelt as westermanni, but correct original spelling is as given below. Described form humei (from Khasi Hills, in NE India) included in nominate. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. m. westermani (Blyth, 1870) – N Pakistan (Margalla Hills), NW India (Himachal Pradesh) and W Nepal.
  • D. m. macei (Vieillot, 1818) – C Nepal E to N & W Myanmar, and S in E peninsular India to Odisha and NE Andhra Pradesh.
  • Descriptive notes

    18–20 cm; 23–38 g (macei). Male has buffish lower forehead, red upper forehead to nape with black feather bases showing, white lores, face and sides of... read more


    Call an abrupt “skik” or “tchick”, sharper than that of Picoides... read more


    Open, damp mixed forest in lowlands and uplands, preferring open forest, edge, secondary growth,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants, a variety of other insects, larvae (usually large ones), also small scorpions (Scorpiones); berries and fruits also taken. Occurs... read more


    Jan–May, sometimes to Jun. Display with crest-raising, swinging movements and others, also fluttering aerial display. Nest-hole... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Global population not quantified, but species appears to be rare to locally common. Local and rare in Pakistan, but possibly more... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker (Dendrocopos macei). 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 29 January 2020).