Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Orinoco Piculet (Picumnus pumilus)


French: Picumne de l’Orénoque German: Orinokozwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito del Orinoco

Picumnus pumilus

Cabanis and Heine

, 1863,

no locality


Closely related to P. lafresnayi. Often considered conspecific, but no evidence of interbreeding where ranges overlap slightly in SE Colombia; probably separated ecologically. Form described as P. stellae (from R Orinoco, in Venezuela), in the past sometimes treated as valid species, now known to be synonym of pumilus. Monotypic.


E Colombia, S Venezuela (S Amazonas) and NW Brazil (R Uaupés E to R Jaú).

Descriptive notes

9 cm; 9–10 g. Male has dark brown cap with small yellow forecrown spots, whiter spots on rest of crown; pale buff lores, blackish ear-coverts with variable white spots... read more




Humid forest; recorded from edge of gallery forest and in dense thickets. Lowlands to 300 m,... read more

Food and feeding

No information; presumably ants and similar small insects. Forages from lower levels up to the canopy.


Not recorded; season likely to be Nov–Dec.


Presumably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Restricted-range species: present in Orinoco-Negro White-sand Forests EBA. Poorly known and probably uncommon. Present in Jaú National Park, in... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Orinoco Piculet (Picumnus pumilus). 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 25 February 2020).