Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Powerful Woodpecker (Campephilus pollens)


French: Pic puissant German: Zimtbindenspecht Spanish: Picamaderos poderoso

Picus pollens


, 1845,



This species, and all current congeners except C. magellanicus, C. principalis and C. imperialis, formerly placed in genus Phloeoceastes. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. p. pollens (Bonaparte, 1845) – Andes from NC Colombia and SW Venezuela (Táchira) S to Ecuador.
  • C. p. peruvianus (Cory, 1915) – E slope in Peru (S to Junín).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 32 cm. Male has bright red forehead to crest, sometimes some black and white of feather bases visible, white band from lores to lower rear edge of ear-coverts continuing... read more


    Commonest call nasal “kyaaah” or “peeyáw”, often repeated; fast... read more


    Inhabits mature montane forest, humid and wet forest, cloudforest, and forest borders; also occurs... read more

    Food and feeding

    Details of diet not documented. Often in pairs. Forages in interior of forest, at all levels, predominantly on trunks and large limbs.


    Season apparently Apr–Aug. Nest situated in tree or telegraph pole, high up, e.g. at 7 m. No other information.



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Local in Colombia; rare to uncommon and local in Ecuador; rare in Peru. Occurs in Cueva de los Guácharos National Park and La Planada Nature Reserve... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Powerful Woodpecker (Campephilus pollens). 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).