White-barred Piculet (Picumnus cirratus)
Female White-barred Piculet, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil, August 2002 - click for larger image Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil
August 2002

The White-barred Piculet is a dwarf woodpecker about 10 cms (4") in size which is found in three disjunct areas: the Guianas with Roraima; around the mouth of the Amazon; and in south-east Brazil with adjoining Argentina, Paraguay and Bolivia.

Female White-barred Piculet, Ubatuba, São Paulo, Brazil, August 2002 - click for larger image It inhabits gallery forest and tall bushes in savannah as well as woodland and forest edges.

It has a black crown with white spots and a conspicuous red patch in the male which is lacking in the female shown in these two photos. The buffy nasal tufts can be seen in the second photo. The upperparts are dull brown with a hint of barring in some cases and there is white edging to the central tail feathers. The underparts are white to buff with strong black barring.

It feeds on small insects including their larvae and eggs and is also reported to feed on sap from the holes that it excavates in branches and twigs. I wonder if the filament that can be seen in the first photo is in fact a portion of sap.

There are illustrations in HBW, Volume 7, Pages 310 and 426; and Sick, Plate 25.

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