Family Woodpeckers (Picidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-eared Woodpecker (Veniliornis maculifrons)


French: Pic à oreilles d’or German: Goldohrspecht Spanish: Carpintero orejigualdo

Picus maculifrons


, 1824,

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


Relationships uncertain. Previously thought to form a species-group with V. kirkii, V. cassini, V. affinis and V. chocoensis, but such a relationship now thought unlikely. Monotypic.


E Brazil from SE Bahia S to Rio de Janeiro.

Descriptive notes

c. 15 cm. Male has brown forehead and crown feathers, tipped whitish on forehead, streaked white and tipped red on forecrown (red lost when worn), becoming largely red on... read more


Long series of vibrating sonorous “ew” notes, rising and then falling; different call reported in... read more


Secondary forest and parks in lowlands and hills.

Food and feeding

Virtually no information; recorded feeding on insect larvae and pecking on an avocado (Persea americana).


Almost no information. Nest in hole in a tree at c. 18 m above ground, with at least one well-grown young, found in Rio de Janeiro state in... read more


Probably resident.

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Restricted-range species: present in ­Atlantic Forest Lowlands EBA. A very little-known woodpecker, but appears to be common in... read more

Recommended citation

Winkler, H., Christie, D.A. & Bonan, A. (2018). Yellow-eared Woodpecker (Veniliornis maculifrons). 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 17 March 2018).