Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)


White-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tristis)


French: Pic strihup German: Javawellenspecht Spanish: Pito triste
Other common names: Buff-rumped Woodpecker (when lumped with M. grammithorax)

Picus tristis


, 1821,



Hitherto treated as conspecific with M. grammithorax, but differs in its all-black vs black-and-buff-barred breast to abdomen (3); stony-white vs rusty-buff barring and spotting on all areas of plumage, with white vs buff rump (2); dense black-and-white barring continuing around eyes rather than giving way to plain buffy lores and eyering (2); and in male slightly brighter red moustachial stripe (ns[1]). Monotypic.



Descriptive notes

17–18 cm; 31–50 g. Distinctive small, short-tailed woodpecker. Male has short red malar patch; rest of head, crest and neck to upper breast greyish-brown with... read more


Calls include single or double “pit” or “chit”, also a wavering soft rattle... read more


Primary and secondary forests, including rather open coastal habitats as well as inland forest. May... read more

Food and feeding

Little information. Diet includes small invertebrates such as ants, also some fruit. Often in pairs, and may join mixed-species flocks.... read more


Little information available. Presumably excavates nest-hole at moderate height in tree or dead stump. Clutch probably 2 or 3 eggs.



Status and conservation

ENDANGERED. Seems to be very rare within its relatively small range. Although no published estimates of total population, this likely to number fewer than 2500 mature... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). White-rumped Woodpecker (Meiglyptes tristis). 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 15 December 2019).