Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-breasted Piculet (Picumnus rufiventris)


French: Picumne à ventre roux German: Rotbauch-Zwergspecht Spanish: Carpinterito ventrirrufo

Asthenurus rufiventris


, 1838,

western Brazil near border with Peru


Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. rufiventris (Bonaparte, 1838) – E slope of Andes from CS Colombia to E Ecuador, NE Peru and W Amazonian Brazil.
  • P. r. grandis Carriker, 1930 – CE Peru (W to Huánuco and Junín) and neighbouring SW Amazonian Brazil.
  • P. r. brunneifrons Stager, 1968 – NW & C Bolivia (Pando, Beni, Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    9–11 cm; 12–16 g, 21 g (grandis). Male has black forehead to nape, crown feathers tipped red, rest spotted white to buff, most prominently on nape; white... read more


    Quiet; occasional high thin “tseeyt-tseeyt-tsit”, notes dropping in pitch.


    Humid forest in thick understorey of forest edge, also in second growth, including overgrown... read more

    Food and feeding

    Little known. Observed in W Brazil consuming adult ants and their larvae, and using culms and branches of bamboo and vines as foraging... read more


    Season Jan–Mar in Peru and Bolivia, probably later in Ecuador. In Acre, W Brazil, an apparently recently fledged juvenile observed in... read more


    Presumably resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common in Colombia; rare to locally uncommon in Ecuador; uncommon in Peru. Probably overlooked owing to inconspicuous... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Rufous-breasted Piculet (Picumnus rufiventris). 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).