Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-winged Woodpecker (Piculus simplex)


French: Pic à ailes rousses German: Zimtflügelspecht Spanish: Carpintero alirrufo

Chloronerpes simplex


, 1870,

Bugaba, Chiriquí, Panama


Generally thought to be closely related to P. callopterus, P. leucolaemus and P. litae; all four have often been treated as conspecific. Proposed race allophyeus, from Honduras, known from only two specimens; further study needed. Monotypic.


E Honduras S to Costa Rica and W Panama (W Chiriquí, W Bocas del Toro, Atlantic slope of Veraguas).

Descriptive notes

c. 18 cm; 51–55 g. Male has red forehead to hindneck, red lores, very broad red malar band; brownish-green ear-coverts, sometimes some red feather tips towards eye;... read more


Loud, sharp, nasal “deeeah”, more drawn out and higher than note of Colaptes... read more


Canopy and edge of humid forest, sometimes large trees in adjacent semi-open terrain. Lowlands and... read more

Food and feeding

Ants, beetles and their larvae. Occurs singly, less often in pairs; occasionally accompanies mixed-species flocks. Forages high in trees,... read more


Feb–May. Nest-hole excavated 2·5–5 m up in recently dead tree or rotten stub. Clutch 2–4 eggs; no other... read more



Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common. Occurs in Braulio Carrillo National Park and Guayabo National Monument, in Costa Rica.

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Rufous-winged Woodpecker (Piculus simplex). 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 16 December 2019).