Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Plain-breasted Piculet (Picumnus castelnau)


French: Picumne de Castelnau German: Gelbbauch-Zwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito blancuzco

Picumnus castelnau


, 1862,

Sarayacu, lower Ucayali Valley, Peru


Type locality often confused with similarly named place in EC Ecuador, where locality Sarayacu (Sarayaku) lies on R Bobonaza, in W Pastaza, well outside this species’ known range; Peruvian site is the correct one#R. Thought possibly to be sister-species to P. subtilis, with which may occasionally hybridize; a possible hybrid reported from upper R Ucayali in Loreto (N Peru)#R. Monotypic.


Extreme SE Colombia (R Amazon in SE Amazonas) and NE & E Peru S to Pucallpa, on R Ucayali. Old specimens supposedly from E Ecuador considered to have originated from elsewhere.

Descriptive notes

8–9 cm; 11–12 g. Male has black forehead to nape, central crown with broad red feather tips, lower nape finely vermiculated whitish; buffish-white lores and nasal... read more


Very high-pitched, thin trill, “té’é’e’e’e’e... read more


Swamp-forest, várzea forest, and forest edge near water; especially favours well-developed... read more

Food and feeding

Diet not recorded. Hunts solitarily or in pairs; regularly joins mixed-species flocks in Peru, more rarely so in Colombia. Forages in lower... read more


Female feeding fledgling in mid-Jun in Colombia; season probably May–Jul. No further details available.


Presumably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Comparatively rare overall, though possibly commoner than it appears to be, as it is rather inconspicuous. Generally uncommon and local in Peru, but... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Plain-breasted Piculet (Picumnus castelnau). 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 February 2020).