Scaled piculet

Scaled piculet

Scaled piculet

Picumnus squamulatus

The scaled piculet (Picumnus squamulatus ) is a species of bird in the woodpecker family Picidae. It is found in Colombia and Venezuela. Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical dry forests, subtropical or tropical moist lowland forests, and heavily degraded former forest. This bird was first described by the French naturalist Frédéric de Lafresnaye in 1854; five subspecies are recognised.


The scaled piculet grows to a length of 8 to 9 cm (3.1 to 3.5 in). The plumage is mottled, the scaled effect coming about because the feathers have pale-coloured bands and darker tips. The crown and nape are black, the male having some red speckling at the front of the crown; the female lacks this red colouration, but otherwise, the sexes are similar. The mantle and back are olive or tan and are scaled, the flight feathers and tail feathers are brown, the two central tail feathers having white tips. The underparts and flanks are boldly scaled in black and brown while the belly is more lightly scaled. The beak is blackish, the legs and feet are greyish-olive and the iris brown. The song is a thin, high-pitched series of notes, “chi-chi-ch’e’e’chi”, gradually descending in pitch. This bird can be confused with the white-bellied piculet.



Biogeographical realms

The scaled piculet is native to northern South America, where its range includes much of Colombia and Venezuela at altitudes up to 1,900 m (6,200 ft). It mainly inhabits tropical and gallery forests, as well as the edges of deciduous woodland. It is also found in more open countryside and farmland with isolated trees, in parks and in gardens, especially locations with vines and tangled undergrowth. It seems to be extending its range southwards, perhaps in response to forest clearance and the growth of suitable secondary forest.

Scaled piculet habitat map
Scaled piculet habitat map
Scaled piculet
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Habits and Lifestyle

This bird usually forages alone or in pairs, searching for small invertebrates in the undergrowth, among vines, on twigs, in saplings and in small trees. Breeding seems to take place between April and June in Venezuela, and birds in breeding condition have been seen there in September, and in January and October in Colombia.

Seasonal behavior
Bird's call

Diet and Nutrition


Population number

The scaled piculet has a wide range and its population seems to be stable. It does not seem to be facing any particular threats, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of least concern. It is possibly a fairly common bird, but may be overlooked because of its unobtrusive behaviour.


1. Scaled piculet Wikipedia article -
2. Scaled piculet on The IUCN Red List site -
3. Xeno-canto bird call -

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