Golden-olive woodpecker

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Golden-olive woodpecker
Golden-olive Woodpecker.jpg
Golden-Olive Woodpecker.jpg
Male above, female below
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Colaptes
C. rubiginosus
Binomial name
Colaptes rubiginosus
(Swainson, 1820)[2]
Colaptes rubiginosus map.svg
  • Piculus rubiginosus Swainson, 1820
  • Piculus aeruginosus (Malherbe, 1862)

The golden-olive woodpecker (Colaptes rubiginosus) is a resident breeding bird from Mexico south and east to Guyana, northwest Argentina, Trinidad and Tobago. It was formerly placed in the genus Piculus.[4] The scientific name rubiginosus means "full of rust", describing the color of the bird's wings and back.


The golden-olive woodpecker is 20 cm (7.9 in) long and weighs 75 g (2.6 oz). Adults are mainly golden olive above with some barring on the tail. The forecrown is grey and the hindcrown red. The face is yellow-white and the underparts are barred black and yellowish. The bill is black. Adult males have a red moustachial strip which is lacking in the female.[5]

Habitat and ecology[edit]

The habitat of this woodpecker is forests, more open woodlands and cultivation. It is most common in the mountains. Two or three white eggs are laid in a nest hole in a tree and incubated by both sexes. The young are fed by regurgitation.

Due to its habitat-mainly montane forests, separated by large rivers-it has evolved into about 20 subspecies. P. r. tobagensis from Tobago is larger and heavier-billed than P. r. trinitatis from Trinidad. Some of the South American subspecies have only very narrow yellow barring on the underparts and the Andean subspecies show a pale eye ring.

Golden-olive woodpeckers mainly eat insects, including ants and beetle larvae, with some fruit and berries. The call of this bird is a loud wheep.


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2020). "Colaptes rubiginosus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T61533973A141039580. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T61533973A141039580.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
  2. ^ a b Handbook of the Birds of the World. Vol. vol. 7. 2002. {{cite book}}: |volume= has extra text (help)
  3. ^ "Piculus aeruginosus". Avibase.
  4. ^ Benz, Brett W.; Robbins, Mark B.; Peterson, A. Townsend (2006). "Evolutionary history of woodpeckers and allies (Aves: Picidae): Placing key taxa on the phylogenetic tree". Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution. 40 (2): 389–399. doi:10.1016/j.ympev.2006.02.021. PMID 16635580.
  5. ^ Stiles, F. Gary; Skutch, Alexander F. (1989). A Guide to the Birds of Costa Rica. Ithaca, NY: Cornell University. p. 256. ISBN 978-0-8014-9600-4.
  • ffrench, Richard; O'Neill, John Patton; Eckelberry, Don R. (2003). A Guide to the Birds of Trinidad and Tobago. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6759-1.
  • Hilty, Steven L. (2003). Birds of Venezuela. London: Christopher Helm. ISBN 0-7136-6418-5.

Further reading[edit]

  • Skutch, Alexander F. (1969). "Golden-olive woodpecker" (PDF). Life Histories of Central American Birds III: Families Cotingidae, Pipridae, Formicariidae, Furnariidae, Dendrocolaptidae, and Picidae. Pacific Coast Avifauna, Number 35. Berkeley, California: Cooper Ornithological Society. pp. 422–427.

External links[edit]