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Species Guide

Crimson-bellied Woodpecker

Campephilus haematogaster

The Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, a vibrant member of the Picidae family, is a medium-sized bird, measuring 33 to 34 cm in length and weighing between 225 to 250 grams. Both sexes boast a striking red forehead, crown, nape, and hindneck, with a black chin and throat. Their upperparts are a mix of black to brownish black, while the lower back and rump display a deep red. The wings are black with white spots, and the underparts are entirely red, creating a bold contrast.

Identification Tips

To identify the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker, look for the red and black pattern on the head, the two white spots on the black wings, and the entirely red underparts. Males can be distinguished by a buff band between the black eye band and chin, whereas females have this band extending down the side of the neck to the upper breast.


This species inhabits the interior of humid and wet forests, montane forests, and várzea. It can also be found along forest edges, thriving in elevations ranging from 500 to 2,200 meters depending on the geographic location within its range.


The Crimson-bellied Woodpecker graces the east slope of the Andes, with its range extending from Colombia through Ecuador and Peru, and slightly into Bolivia.


As a year-round resident, the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker is often observed foraging alone or in pairs, near the ground on the trunks of large trees. It is known for its methodical hammering and probing as it searches for its prey.

Song & Calls

The song of this woodpecker is a series of harsh, nasal, squeaky but loud "eer" notes. Its call is a loud "stk! st-kr-r-r-r-r-r-r", and it drums with a fast drumroll of 3–4 loud raps.


The breeding season for the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker spans from September to April in Colombia and Ecuador. However, details on its breeding biology remain elusive.

Diet and Feeding

The diet of the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker primarily consists of adults and larvae of large beetles, supplemented by other insects. Its foraging technique involves hammering and probing the trunks of large trees to reach its prey.

Conservation status

The IUCN has classified the Crimson-bellied Woodpecker as Least Concern. It has a broad range, but the population size is unknown and believed to be decreasing. Currently, there are no immediate threats identified for this species.

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Crimson-bellied Woodpeckers on Birda

A map showing the sighting location
Alina Walling
01 Feb 2022 - 11:30am

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