Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)


Southern Sooty Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fuliginosus)


French: Pic fuligineux German: Leytespecht Spanish: Picatroncos filipino sureño

Mulleripicus fuliginosus


, 1877,

Surigao, Mindanao, Philippines


Since 1940s until recently was considered conspecific with M. funebris, but differs in its distinctly paler body plumage (2); red on male’s face confined to submoustachial streak (2) and scarlet vs burgundy (2); larger white spots on chin, throat, upper neck, neck sides and hindcrown (ns[1]); overall slightly smaller size, with notably shorter and almost invariably frayed tail (effect size for tail 3.6; score 2); and possibly also lacking a “soccer referee’s whistle” call heard from funebris#R. Monotypic.


Samar, Leyte and Mindanao (EC & SE Philippines).

Descriptive notes

29–30cm. Male has head and neck smoky grey or slate-grey, finely speckled with white on chin, throat, neck and hindcrown (speckles often difficult to see), broad red... read more


Emits thin, soft whistled notes, singly, doubled or in loose series, the effect surprisingly weak... read more


Lowland forest, mainly evergreen stands, occasionally extending into secondary growth and... read more

Food and feeding

Little information available. Forages mostly in upper levels of forest.


Season reported as Apr–Aug in Samar and Leyte. No other information.



Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Very poorly known species. Seems to be scarce or rare throughout its range; possibly overlooked, as it is inconspicuous in its forest habitat. Global population... read more

Recommended citation

del Hoyo, J., Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Southern Sooty Woodpecker (Mulleripicus fuliginosus). 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 9 December 2019).