Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

White-throated Woodpecker (Piculus leucolaemus)


French: Pic à gorge blanche German: Weißkehlspecht Spanish: Carpintero gorjiblanco

Picus leucolaemus

Natterer and Malherbe

, 1845,



Generally thought to be closely related to P. simplex, P. callopterus and P. litae, and all four often treated as conspecific. Alternatively, present species frequently lumped with P. litae alone, but differs significantly in plumage and possibly not even closely related. Depth of plumage coloration varies slightly, but with no obvious geographical pattern. Monotypic.


S Colombia (Serranía de Churumbelos, in E Cauca) and E Ecuador E to W & C Amazonian Brazil and S to SE Peru and N Bolivia.

Descriptive notes

c. 19–20 cm; 69 g. Male has bright red forehead to hindneck, yellowish-green ear-coverts bordered below by golden-yellow band from bill base to rear neck side, broad... read more


Harsh sibilant “piissh” or “shreeyr”, heard infrequently.


Tall, humid terra firme forest and lowland várzea forest along rivers;... read more

Food and feeding

Diet not recorded; presumably insects and their larvae. Usually forages singly, occasionally in pairs; will join mixed flocks. Forages in... read more


No information.


Presumed resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Rare to locally uncommon in Ecuador; recent records from only seven sites. Uncommon in Peru; occurs in Manu National Park and surrounding area. First... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H. & Christie, D.A. (2019). White-throated Woodpecker (Piculus leucolaemus). 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 8 December 2019).