Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Red-stained Woodpecker (Veniliornis affinis)


French: Pic affin German: Blutflügelspecht Spanish: Carpintero teñido

Picus affinis


, 1821,

Bahia, Brazil


Member of the V. passerinus clade (see V. passerinus, above). Formerly was often treated as conspecific with V. chocoensis, but differs in plumage, habitat choice and, reputedly, vocalizations; sometimes believed to be conspecific with V. cassini, but study needed of circumstances in apparent small range of overlap. Races intergrade to large extent; specimen from E Colombia described as separate race caquetanus, but considered to represent subadult of orenocensis. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. a. orenocensis Berlepsch & E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – SE Colombia (Meta to Putumayo and Vaupés), S Venezuela and N Brazil N of R Amazon (E to R Negro).
  • V. a. hilaris (Cabanis & Heine, 1863) – E Ecuador, E Peru and W Brazil (E to R Madeira) S to N Bolivia and W Mato Grosso.
  • V. a. ruficeps (Spix, 1824) – C & NE Brazil S of Amazon (E from R Madeira) S to Mato Grosso.
  • V. a. affinis (Swainson, 1821) – E Brazil (Alagoas, Pernambuco and E Bahia).
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 15–18 cm; 32–44 g. Male has cinnamon-buff lower forehead and lores, black upper forehead and crown with feathers broadly tipped red, becoming golden-yellow on... read more


    Series of up to c. 10–14 high-pitched nasal “ghi” or “kih” notes... read more


    Tall rainforest; less common in forest edge, second growth and scrub; in humid lowland terra... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; also fond of fruit. Forages singly, only occasionally in pairs; regular in mixed-species flocks. Foraging strata mostly high,... read more


    Presumed to be Jan–Sept. No information.


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to locally fairly common in Ecuador; uncommon in Peru. Occurs in Manu National Park (Peru), Murici Reserve, Sooretama Biological Reserve,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Red-stained Woodpecker (Veniliornis affinis). 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 22 March 2018).