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Olivaceous Piculet - BirdForum Opus

(Redirected from Picumnus olivaceus)
Photo by jeffworman
San Vito, Costa Rica, March 2017
Picumnus olivaceus


8·5–10 cm ( A tiny woodpecker

  • Short, pointed bill
  • Olive above
  • Black cap with white spots
  • Dusky cheeks with white streaks
  • Pale olive to dusky below with light flank streaking

Male: yellow-orange streaked crown.
Female: lacks the yellow-orange.
Juveniles are duller and browner than adults.

Similar species

Has paler upperparts, darker underparts and red crown spots in male (not yellow) than Greyish Piculet.


Rather local from Guatemala to northwestern Ecuador.
Uncommon to fairly common.


Forms a superspecies with Greyish Piculet and might be conspecific with it.


There are 6 subspecies[1]:

  • P. o. dimotus:
  • P. o. flavotinctus:
  • P. o. olivaceus:
  • Western Colombia (Sucre) south in Andes to Cauca Valley and east to Huila
  • P. o. harterti:
  • P. o. eisenmanni :
  • P. o. tachirensis:


Humid tropical evergreen forest and forest edge, including plantations.
Mostly in lowlands and foothills, locally up to 2500m.


Similar to Plain Xenops.


Diet consists mostly of ants, especially those that tunnel in dead twigs, termites and their eggs and larvae.


A nest cavity is excavated in soft wood by both adults, in a low stub. The pair roosts together in the cavity prior to nesting. The clutch consists of 1–3 white eggs which are incubated for about 14 days by both parents; young fed by both parents and fledge at about age 24–26 days.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and J Sargatal, eds. 2002. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 7: Jacamars to Woodpeckers. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334375
  3. Answers.com

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