Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Golden-green Woodpecker (Piculus chrysochloros)


French: Pic vert-doré German: Bronzespecht Spanish: Carpintero verdiamarillo

Picus chrysochloros


, 1818,

Paraguay and Brazil


Specific name sometimes misspelt as chrysochlorus. Thought to be close to P. aurulentus. Races differ markedly in size and plumage, but racial differentiation partly obscured by considerable individual variation; birds in S Colombia (Putumayo) and NE Ecuador lacking red malar stripe possibly represent a new, as yet unnamed race. Recent taxonomic review#R indicated that races represent six phylogenetic species, namely NW South American xanthochlorus, N Amazonian capistratus, NE Brazilian (Belém region) paraensis, S Amazonian laemostictus, the Cerrado–Caatinga–Chaco specialist chrysochloros, and Atlantic Forest polyzonus; and that an additional, undescribed form from the Tapajós–Tocantins interfluve may prove to be a further species once more study carried out. In same study#R taxa aurosus, guianensis and hypochryseus found not to form “diagnosable units”, but these are retained here as races as they exhibit some differences in morphological characters. Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. c. aurosus (Nelson, 1912) – E Panama and N Colombia (Córdoba and Antioquia E to Magdalena).
  • P. c. xanthochlorus (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1875) – Colombian Golden-green Woodpecker – NE Colombia (Norte de Santander) and NW Venezuela.
  • P. c. capistratus (Malherbe, 1862) – Guianan Golden-green Woodpecker – E Ecuador, NE Peru, SE Colombia and NW Brazil E to Suriname.
  • P. c. guianensis Todd, 1937 – French Guiana.
  • P. c. paraensis (E. Snethlage, 1907) – Para Golden-green Woodpecker – NE Brazil.
  • P. c. laemostictus Todd, 1937 – Amazonian Golden-green Woodpecker – E Peru and NW Brazil.
  • P. c. hypochryseus Todd, 1937 – W Brazil S to N Bolivia.
  • P. c. chrysochloros (Vieillot, 1818) – Cerrado Golden-green Woodpecker – C & S Brazil S to E Bolivia, W Paraguay and N Argentina (Formosa S to Santa Fe).
  • P. c. polyzonus (Valenciennes, 1826) – Una Golden-green Woodpecker – SE Brazil (SE Bahia, SE Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro).
  • Descriptive notes

    18–21 cm (chrysochloros), 26–27 cm (capistratus, polyzonus); 55 g (chrysochloros), 62–91 g (capistratus). Male... read more


    Shrill sibilant “shreer”, sometimes doubled, uttered infrequently.


    Humid terra firme and várzea forest, rainforest, also deciduous forest, patches... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants (Camponotus) and termites (Isoptera) recorded. Forages singly, in pairs, or in mixed-species flocks. Forages rather high in... read more


    Records from Colombia suggest breeding in Feb–Mar; in Sept in Argentina. Nest-hole in tree or in arboreal nest of insects. No data on... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Status uncertain, possibly not uncommon in much of range. Rare to uncommon and local in Ecuador; uncommon in Peru; and possibly very uncommon in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Golden-green Woodpecker (Piculus chrysochloros). 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 June 2019).