Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Heart-spotted Woodpecker (Hemicircus canente)


French: Pic canente German: Rundschwanzspecht Spanish: Pito de corazones

Picus canente


, 1832,

Pegu, Myanmar


Clinal increase in size from SW to NE India, but differences negligible; individual variation fairly marked, but no significant geographical pattern; as a result, proposed race cordatus (W India) is unsustainable. Monotypic.


W & NE peninsular India, Bangladesh; and from SW, S & E Myanmar, and S Annam, S to S Thailand, Cambodia and S Vietnam (Cochinchina).

Descriptive notes

15–17 cm; 37–50 g. Very small, compact woodpecker with thin neck, large head with prominent crest, and strikingly short and rounded tail. Male has black head and... read more


Squeaky nasal “ki-yew” considered similar to voice of Ashy Drongo (Dicrurus... read more


Moist and dense deciduous and evergreen forests, at forest edge, in secondary forest, bamboo, and... read more

Food and feeding

Ants, termites (Isoptera), larvae, and other insects comprise bulk of diet. Usually singly or in pairs, or in mixed-species parties.... read more


Nov–Apr; eggs early Jul in Peninsular Malaysia. Displays with bowing or bobbing movements and associated vocalizations. Tiny nest-... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Sparsely distributed in India, locally more frequent; no recent records from Bangladesh, last recorded in NE of country in May 1984 and in SE in Jan... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Heart-spotted Woodpecker (Hemicircus canente). 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 14 December 2019).