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Red-stained Woodpecker - BirdForum Opus

Male, Subspecies hilaris
Photo by Stanley Jones
Aconabikh Centre, Tarapoto, San Martín, Peru, December 2016
Veniliornis affinis


15-18 cm (6-7 in).


Photo © by Fritz73
Camacan, Brazil, 6 September 2017
  • Cinnamon-buff lower forehead and lores
  • Black upper forehead and crown, crown feathers tipped red (becoming golden-yellow on nape and hindneck)
  • Olive streaked dark buffish ear-coverts
  • Buffish chin and malar region
  • Yellowish-green upperparts with some red suffusion
  • Pale yellow shaft streaks
  • Variably barred rump and uppertail-coverts
  • Yellowish subterminal spots and reddish tips on wing-coverts
  • Dark brown flight-feathers edged green
  • Dark brown uppertail yellowish barred
  • Light cinnamon-buff underparts, whiter on lower underparts, dark olive-brown barred
  • Straight blackish, longish bill, paler on lower mandible


  • Dark olive-brown crown
  • Golden-yellow streaks on hindcrown merging with golden nape

Juveniles similar to adults but with a darker face and more streaked.


Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Venezuela.
A poorly known species, uncommon (or overlooked) in most of its range.



Four subspecies recognized[1]:

  • V. a. orenocensis from southeast Colombia to south Venezuela and north Brazil
  • V. a. hilaris from east Ecuador through east Peru to north Bolivia and west Mato Grosso
  • V. a. ruficeps in central and northeast Brazil (south to Mato Grosso)
  • V. a. affinis in eastern Brazil (Alagoas and east Bahia)

Formerly treated conspecific with Choco Woodpecker, sometimes with Golden-collared Woodpecker.


Found in tall lowland rainforest, mostly in terra firme forest, also in várzea forest.
Occurs up to 1300 m in Peru, from 100 to 500 m in Venezuela.



Feeds on arthropods and fruit.
Forages singly or in pairs, often in mixed-species flocks. Attends army-ant swarms to catch flushed insects.


Breeding season presumably January to September. No other information.


This is a resident species.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, S. M. Billerman, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2019. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World: v2019. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Gill, F and D Donsker (Eds). 2015. IOC World Bird Names (version 5.2). Available at http://www.worldbirdnames.org/.
  3. Winkler, H. and D. A. Christie (2020). Red-stained Woodpecker (Dryobates affinis), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.reswoo1.01

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