Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Northern Andean Flicker (Colaptes cinereicapillus)


French: Pic à calotte cendrée German: Nordandenspecht Spanish: Carpintero andino septentrional

Colaptes cinereicapillus


, 1854,

Guayabamba, Peru


Hitherto considered conspecific with C. rupicola, but differs in its rich tan-buff face, throat and breast and yellow-buff belly and rump (vs greyish-buff and creamy-buff respectively) (2); close-packed long barring on breast vs loose butterfly-shaped spotting (3); no red on nape (2); red of moustachial confined to distal end vs shot through almost entire moustache (ns[1]); slightly longer tail (mean 128, n=21, vs 115, n=20, effect size 2.3, score 2); narrow hybrid zone N of L Junín, C Peru#R (2). Reported vocal differences from C. rupicola#R merit further investigation. Monotypic.


Extreme S Ecuador (SE Loja) and N & C Peru (Piura and Amazonas S to Pasco and N Junin).

Descriptive notes

c. 32 cm; c. 150–200 g, female c. 5% lighter than male. Male has dark slate-grey forehead to hindneck, blacker at side, thin black malar stripe tipped red distally, rest of... read more


Commonest calls a loud, piercing “kweeir”, singly or in series, and a loud “tew-tew-tew”, very like... read more


Boulder-strewn areas in páramo and patches of woodland and scrub in Andean puna. Requires... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, including large larvae of Lepidoptera and beetles. Often in small groups, but forages also singly and in pairs; group of at least... read more


No documented information. Probably breeds in small colonies.


Resident; some altitudinal shifts likely.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to locally fairly common. First recorded in early 1990s in Ecuador, where it appears to be uncommon and local. No... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Northern Andean Flicker (Colaptes cinereicapillus). 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 12 December 2019).