Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Red-rumped Woodpecker (Veniliornis kirkii)


French: Pic à croupion rouge German: Blutbürzelspecht Spanish: Carpintero culirrojo

Picus (Chloropicus) Kirkii


, 1845,



Previous treatment as member of a group with V. cassini, V. affinis, V. chocoensis and V. maculifrons not supported by molecular analyses#R, which found present species possibly to be basal in genus and close to V. cassini. Five subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. k. neglectus Bangs, 1901 – S Costa Rica and W Panama, including Coiba I.
  • V. k. cecilii (Malherbe, 1849) – E Panama and W Colombia S to W Ecuador and extreme NW Peru (Pacific slope S to Tumbes).
  • V. k. continentalis Hellmayr, 1906 – W & N Venezuela (E to W Sucre).
  • V. k. kirkii (Malherbe, 1845) – Trinidad and Tobago, and NE Venezuela (Paria Peninsula).
  • V. k. monticola Hellmayr, 1918 – C & SE Venezuela (tepuis of NW Amazonas and SE Bolívar) and W Guyana (Mt Roraima).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 15–16 cm; 30–42 g. Male has buffish forehead, lores and superciliary area, dusky brown or dark grey crown and nape with red feather tips, golden-yellow lower... read more


    Nasal “keer”, decreasing in intensity, softer than similar note of Piculus simplex... read more


    Variety of lowland and foothill habitats, from wet forest, adjacent second growth and overgrown... read more

    Food and feeding

    Larvae and adults of small to medium-sized wood-boring beetles and other insects. Usually forages singly or in pairs, or in small groups;... read more


    Dec–Feb, possibly Mar, in Panama and in Trinidad and Tobago, and Feb–Mar in N Venezuela; Jul in Ecuador, where pair with immature seen in... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to uncommon. Uncommon to locally fairly common in Ecuador, where widespread in N lowlands; apparently no recent records from SW (Loja... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Red-rumped Woodpecker (Veniliornis kirkii). 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 28 January 2020).