Olivaceous piculet

Olivaceous piculet
Picumnus olivaceus
Photo by Jose García (Birding Panama)

Common name:
olivaceous piculet (en); pica-pau-anão-azeitona (pt); picumne olivâtre (fr); carpinterito oliváceo (es); olivrücken-zwergspecht (de)

Order Piciformes
Family Picidae

These birds are found from Guatemala and Honduras, through Nicaragua, Costa Rica and Panama, and into Colombia, western Venezuela, western Ecuador and north-western Peru.

This tinny woodpecker is 8-10 cm long and weighs 12-13 g.

Olivaceous piculets are found in dry forests, moist forests, along forests edges, and in shady pastures, plantations and second-growth vegetation. These birds are found from sea level up to an altitude of 2.500 m.

They mostly feed in very slender dead branches and twigs, taking adult and larval ants and termites but also other insects and larvae.

The olivaceous piculet breeds in January-June. Both sexes help carve a neatly rounded cavity in dead trunks or in decaying fence-posts, 1-4 m above the ground. There the female lays 2-3 white eggs which are incubated by both parents for 14 days. The chicks are fed by both sexes and fledge 24-25 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a large breeding range and is described as fairly common. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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