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Category:Picidae - BirdForum Opus

Family: Picidae


This family contains all Wrynecks, Piculets and Woodpeckers including those with such names as Flickers, Sapsuckers and Flamebacks.

At least all the true Woodpeckers have adaptations that help them distribute the forces when they hit a tree and as such avoid brain damage. Among these adaptations:

  • cartilage cushioning at the point where the mandible is attached to the skull
  • strong muscles which contract just before impact and therefore also act as cushioning
  • the two items above both direct force towards the base of the skull instead of towards the brain
  • a thick, bony skull with a very spongy structure should also act as cushioning
  • ensuring a hit that always avoids rotating the head means that the bird avoids rotational damage


Picidae is a family in the Order Piciformes.

Family Picidae viewedit

Genus Jynx viewedit
J. torquilla Eurasian Wryneck
J. ruficollis Rufous-necked Wryneck

Genus Picumnus viewedit
P. innominatus Speckled Piculet
P. aurifrons Bar-breasted Piculet
P. pumilus Orinoco Piculet
P. lafresnayi Lafresnaye's Piculet
P. exilis Golden-spangled Piculet
P. sclateri Ecuadorian Piculet
P. squamulatus Scaled Piculet
P. spilogaster White-bellied Piculet
P. minutissimus Arrowhead Piculet
P. pygmaeus Spotted Piculet
P. steindachneri Speckle-chested Piculet
P. varzeae Varzea Piculet
P. cirratus White-barred Piculet
P. dorbignyanus Ocellated Piculet
P. temminckii Ochre-collared Piculet
P. albosquamatus White-wedged Piculet
P. fuscus Rusty-necked Piculet
P. rufiventris Rufous-breasted Piculet
P. limae Ochraceous Piculet
P. nebulosus Mottled Piculet
P. castelnau Plain-breasted Piculet
P. subtilis Fine-barred Piculet
P. olivaceus Olivaceous Piculet
P. granadensis Grayish Piculet
P. cinnamomeus Chestnut Piculet

Genus Verreauxia viewedit
S. africana African Piculet

Genus Sasia viewedit
S. abnormis Rufous Piculet
S. ochracea White-browed Piculet

Genus Nesoctites viewedit
N. micromegas Antillean Piculet

Genus Hemicircus viewedit
H. concretus Grey-and-buff Woodpecker
H. canente Heart-spotted Woodpecker

Genus Sphyrapicus viewedit
S. thyroideus Williamson's Sapsucker
S. varius Yellow-bellied Sapsucker
S. nuchalis Red-naped Sapsucker
S. ruber Red-breasted Sapsucker

Genus Xiphidiopicus viewedit
X. percussus Cuban Green Woodpecker

Genus Melanerpes viewedit
M. candidus White Woodpecker
M. lewis Lewis's Woodpecker
M. herminieri Guadeloupe Woodpecker
M. portoricensis Puerto Rican Woodpecker
M. erythrocephalus Red-headed Woodpecker
M. formicivorus Acorn Woodpecker
M. chrysauchen Golden-naped Woodpecker
M. cruentatus Yellow-tufted Woodpecker
M. flavifrons Yellow-fronted Woodpecker
M. pulcher Beautiful Woodpecker
M. pucherani Black-cheeked Woodpecker
M. cactorum White-fronted Woodpecker
M. striatus Hispaniolan Woodpecker
M. radiolatus Jamaican Woodpecker
M. chrysogenys Golden-cheeked Woodpecker
M. hypopolius Gray-breasted Woodpecker
M. pygmaeus Yucatan Woodpecker
M. rubricapillus Red-crowned Woodpecker
M. uropygialis Gila Woodpecker
M. hoffmannii Hoffmann's Woodpecker
M. aurifrons Golden-fronted Woodpecker
M. carolinus Red-bellied Woodpecker
M. superciliaris West Indian Woodpecker

Genus Picoides viewedit
P. tridactylus Eurasian Three-toed Woodpecker
P. dorsalis American Three-toed Woodpecker
P. arcticus Black-backed Woodpecker

Genus Yungipicus viewedit
Y. temminckii Sulawesi Pygmy Woodpecker
Y. nanus Brown-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Y. canicapillus Grey-capped Pygmy Woodpecker
Y. maculatus Philippine Pygmy Woodpecker
Y. ramsayi Sulu Pygmy Woodpecker
Y. moluccensis Sunda Pygmy Woodpecker
Y. kizuki' Japanese Pygmy Woodpecker

Genus Leiopicus viewedit
L. mahrattensis Yellow-crowned Woodpecker

Genus Dendrocoptes viewedit
D. dorae Arabian Woodpecker
D. auriceps Brown-fronted Woodpecker
D. medius Middle Spotted Woodpecker

Genus Chloropicus viewedit
C. namaquus Bearded Woodpecker
C. pyrrhogaster Fire-bellied Woodpecker
C. xantholophus Yellow-crested Woodpecker

Genus Dendropicos viewedit
D. elachus Little Grey Woodpecker
D. poecilolaemus Speckle-breasted Woodpecker
D. abyssinicus Abyssinian Woodpecker
D. fuscescens Cardinal Woodpecker
D. lugubris Melancholy Woodpecker
D. gabonensis Gabon Woodpecker
D. stierlingi Stierling's Woodpecker
D. elliotii Elliot's Woodpecker
D. goertae African Grey Woodpecker
D. spodocephalus Eastern Grey Woodpecker
D. griseocephalus Olive Woodpecker
D. obsoletus Brown-backed Woodpecker

Genus Dendrocopos viewedit
D. hyperythrus Rufous-bellied Woodpecker
D. macei Fulvous-breasted Woodpecker
D. analis Freckle-breasted Woodpecker
D. atratus Stripe-breasted Woodpecker
S. noguchii Okinawa Woodpecker
D. leucotos White-backed Woodpecker
D. darjellensis Darjeeling Woodpecker
D. major Great Spotted Woodpecker
D. leucopterus White-winged Woodpecker
D. himalayensis Himalayan Woodpecker
D. syriacus Syrian Woodpecker
D. assimilis Sind Woodpecker

Genus Dryobates viewedit
D. scalaris Ladder-backed Woodpecker
D. nuttallii Nuttall's Woodpecker
D. pubescens Downy Woodpecker
D. cathpharius Crimson-breasted Woodpecker
D. minor Lesser Spotted Woodpecker
P. fumigatus Smoky-brown Woodpecker
P. villosus Hairy Woodpecker
P. arizonae Arizona Woodpecker
P. stricklandi Strickland's Woodpecker
P. borealis Red-cockaded Woodpecker
P. albolarvatus White-headed Woodpecker

Genus Blythipicus viewedit
B. rubiginosus Maroon Woodpecker
B. pyrrhotis Bay Woodpecker

Genus Reinwardtipicus viewedit
R. validus Orange-backed Woodpecker

Genus Chrysocolaptes viewedit
C. guttacristatus Greater Flameback
C. strictus Javan Flameback
C. haematribon Luzon Flameback
C. xanthocephalus Yellow-faced Flameback
C. lucidus Buff-spotted Flameback
C. erythrocephalus Red-headed Flameback
C. stricklandi Crimson-backed Flameback
C. festivus White-naped Woodpecker

Genus Campephilus viewedit
C. pollens Powerful Woodpecker
C. haematogaster Crimson-bellied Woodpecker
C. rubricollis Red-necked Woodpecker
C. robustus Robust Woodpecker
C. melanoleucos Crimson-crested Woodpecker
C. guatemalensis Pale-billed Woodpecker
C. gayaquilensis Guayaquil Woodpecker
C. leucopogon Cream-backed Woodpecker
C. magellanicus Magellanic Woodpecker
C. principalis Ivory-billed Woodpecker
C. imperialis Imperial Woodpecker

Genus Micropternus viewedit
M. brachyurus Rufous Woodpecker

Genus Meiglyptes viewedit
M. tristis Buff-rumped Woodpecker
M. jugularis Black-and-buff Woodpecker
M. tukki Buff-necked Woodpecker

Genus Gecinulus viewedit
G. grantia Pale-headed Woodpecker
G. viridis Bamboo Woodpecker

Genus Dinopium viewedit
D. rafflesii Olive-backed Woodpecker
D. shorii Himalayan Flameback
D. javanense Common Flameback
D. everetti Spot-throated Flameback
D. benghalense Black-rumped Flameback
D. psarodes Red-backed Flameback

Genus Picus viewedit
P. chlorolophus Lesser Yellownape
P. puniceus Crimson-winged Woodpecker
P. viridanus Streak-breasted Woodpecker
P. vittatus Laced Woodpecker
P. xanthopygaeus Streak-throated Woodpecker
P. squamatus Scaly-bellied Woodpecker
P. awokera Japanese Woodpecker
P. viridis Eurasian Green Woodpecker
P. sharpei Iberian Green Woodpecker
P. vaillantii Levaillant's Woodpecker
P. rabieri Red-collared Woodpecker
P. erythropygius Black-headed Woodpecker
P. canus Grey-headed Woodpecker

Genus Chrysophlegma viewedit
C. miniaceus Banded Woodpecker
C. flavinucha Greater Yellownape
C. mentalis Checker-throated Woodpecker

Genus Geocolaptes viewedit
G. olivaceus Ground Woodpecker

Genus Campethera viewedit
C. punctuligera Fine-spotted Woodpecker
C. nubica Nubian Woodpecker
C. bennettii Bennett's Woodpecker
C. scriptoricauda Reichenow's Woodpecker
C. abingoni Golden-tailed Woodpecker
C. mombassica Mombasa Woodpecker
C. notata Knysna Woodpecker
C. maculosa Little Green Woodpecker
C. cailliautii Green-backed Woodpecker
C. tullbergi Tullberg's Woodpecker
C. nivosa Buff-spotted Woodpecker
C. caroli Brown-eared Woodpecker

Genus Mulleripicus viewedit
M. fulvus Ashy Woodpecker
M. funebris Sooty Woodpecker
M. pulverulentus Great Slaty Woodpecker

Genus Dryocopus viewedit
D. lineatus Lineated Woodpecker
D. pileatus Pileated Woodpecker
D. schulzi Black-bodied Woodpecker
D. javensis White-bellied Woodpecker
D. hodgei Andaman Woodpecker
D. martius Black Woodpecker

Genus Celeus viewedit
C. loricatus Cinnamon Woodpecker
C. torquatus Ringed Woodpecker
C. galeatus Helmeted Woodpecker
C. castaneus Chestnut-colored Woodpecker
C. grammicus Scaly-breasted Woodpecker
C. undatus Waved Woodpecker
C. flavus Cream-colored Woodpecker
C. spectabilis Rufous-headed Woodpecker
C. obrieni Kaempfer's Woodpecker
C. ochraceus Ochre-backed Woodpecker
C. elegans Chestnut Woodpecker
C. lugubris Pale-crested Woodpecker
C. flavescens Blond-crested Woodpecker

Genus Piculus viewedit
P. simplex Rufous-winged Woodpecker
P. callopterus Stripe-cheeked Woodpecker
P. leucolaemus White-throated Woodpecker
P. litae Lita Woodpecker
P. flavigula Yellow-throated Woodpecker
P. chrysochloros Golden-green Woodpecker
P. aurulentus White-browed Woodpecker

Genus Colaptes viewedit
C. rubiginosus Golden-olive Woodpecker
C. auricularis Gray-crowned Woodpecker
C. rivolii Crimson-mantled Woodpecker
C. atricollis Black-necked Woodpecker
C. punctigula Spot-breasted Woodpecker
C. melanochloros Green-barred Woodpecker
C. auratus Northern Flicker
C. chrysoides Gilded Flicker
C. fernandinae Fernandina's Flicker
C. pitius Chilean Flicker
C. rupicola Andean Flicker
C. campestris Campo Flicker

Genus Veniliornis viewedit
V. kirkii Red-rumped Woodpecker
V. cassini Golden-collared Woodpecker
V. spilogaster White-spotted Woodpecker
V. mixtus Checkered Woodpecker
V. lignarius Striped Woodpecker
V. sanguineus Blood-colored Woodpecker
V. passerinus Little Woodpecker
V. frontalis Dot-fronted Woodpecker
V. callonotus Scarlet-backed Woodpecker
V. dignus Yellow-vented Woodpecker
V. nigriceps Bar-bellied Woodpecker
V. affinis Red-stained Woodpecker
V. chocoensis Choco Woodpecker
V. maculifrons Yellow-eared Woodpecker


  1. Story about Dr. Schwab who has published about woodpeckers and their adaptations to avoid brain damage