Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Waved Woodpecker (Celeus undatus)


French: Pic ondé German: Olivbürzelspecht Spanish: Carpintero ondoso

Picus undatus


, 1766,



Sister-species of C. grammicus (which see). Race name amacurensis originally spelt amarcurensis; emended on basis of internal evidence#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. u. undatus (Linnaeus, 1766) – E Venezuela (E Sucre S to E Bolívar), the Guianas, and NE Brazil N of Amazon (W from middle and lower R Negro).
  • C. u. amacurensis Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1950 – Delta Amacuro (NE Venezuela).
  • C. u. multifasciatus (Natterer & Malherbe, 1845) – NE Brazil S of Amazon, from C Pará E to lower R Tocantins and W Maranhão.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 23–24 cm; male 61–73 g, female 58–68 g. Male has broad red band from upper bill back to front edge of ear-coverts; rest of head light chestnut-rufous,... read more


    Loud “wit-koa”, very like corresponding call of C. grammicus; soft, whispered... read more


    Most frequent in dense rainforest, at up to 500 m; occasionally in more open terrain of savanna... read more

    Food and feeding

    Ants and termites; occasionally seeds. Forages inconspicuously in treetops; sometimes joins mixed-species feeding flocks.


    Season from end of May to Aug in the Guianas; possibly in earlier part of that period in SE of range. Nest in dead or live tree at 4–... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon. Occurs in Canaima National Park and Imataca Forest Reserve and El Dorado (Venezuela). Observed at Mana, in French Guiana. Poorly known... read more

    Recommended citation

    Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2018). Waved Woodpecker (Celeus undatus). 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 19 March 2018).