Smoky-brown woodpecker

The smoky-brown woodpecker or brown woodpecker (Leuconotopicus fumigatus) is a species of bird in the family Picidae.

Smoky-brown woodpecker
Veniliornis fumigatus -NW Ecuador-6.jpg
Female in NW Ecuador
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Leuconotopicus
L. fumigatus
Binomial name
Leuconotopicus fumigatus
(D'Orbigny, 1840)

L. f. fumigatus
L. f. obscuratus
L. f. oleagineus
L. f. reichenbachi
L. f. sanguinolentus

Dryobates fumigatus map.svg

Veniliornis fumigatus
Picoides fumigatus
Dryobates fumigatus

It is found in Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, and Venezuela.

Taxonomy and systematicsEdit

The species was first described by the French naturalist Alcide d'Orbigny, based on individuals observed in the Province of Corrientes in Argentina, and later in Santa Cruz de la Sierra in Bolivia.[2]

The genus name leuconotopicus derives from the Ancient Greek leukos (white), noton (back) and pikos (woodpecker). The species epithet fumigatus is Latin for smoked.[3]

Five subspecies are recognized:

  • L. f. oleagineus, found in southwest and east Mexico
  • L. f. sanguinolentus, found from south Mexico to western Panama
  • L. f. reichenbachi, found in northern Venezuela
  • L. f. fumigatus, the nominate subspecies, found in northern Colombia, northwest Venezuela and down to northwest Argentina
  • L. f. obscuratus, found in northwestern Ecuador and the northwest of Peru[4]


Its natural habitats are subtropical or tropical moist lowland forest, subtropical or tropical moist montane forest, and heavily degraded former forest.


Adult woodpeckers are 15–17 cm (5.9–6.7 in) in height and weigh about 31–50 g (1.1–1.8 oz). They are characteristically dark brown. The adult male has gray, red-tipped nape feathers and tawny scapular feathers. The adult female has brown-tipped nape feathers, and juvenile woodpeckers have noticeably duller feathers.


The smoky-brown woodpecker seems to prefer smaller tree trunks to larger ones. Their diet favors small beetles and larvae. Leuconotopicus fumigatus often travels in pairs or in family groups, sometimes with other species. They nest from February to May, making their nest 1.5–7.6 m (4 ft 11 in – 24 ft 11 in) off the forest floor. They have a clutch size of 4 eggs.

Smoky-brown Woodpecker (male)


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2020). "Leuconotopicus fumigatus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2020: e.T22681193A141047835. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-3.RLTS.T22681193A141047835.en. Retrieved 15 November 2021.
  2. ^ d'Orbigny, Alcide (1835–1844). Voyage dans l'Amérique méridionale : (le Brésil, la république orientale de l'Uruguay, la République argentine, la Patagonie, la république du Chili, la république de Bolivia, la république du Pérou),... Paris: Chez Pitois-Levrault et ce., libraires-éditeurs. p. 380. Retrieved 25 February 2021.
  3. ^ Jobling, James A. (2010). The Helm dictionary of scientific bird names : from aalge to zusii. London: Christopher Helm. pp. 224, 166. ISBN 978-1-4081-2501-4.
  4. ^ Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P. (Eds.). "IOC World Bird List (v 11.1) 2021". IOC World Bird List. Retrieved 26 February 2021.