Speckled Piculate

Speckled Piculet  Picumnus innominatus


  • Picumnus : French word Picumne- piculate, Little woodpecker
  • Innominatus : Latin word for “ unnamed”

Vernacular Names: Lepcha: Dandchim, Cachar: Daojagadaiyatiriling, Nepal: Wiwi, Mal:  Maramkotti, Hindi: Chittidat Piculate, Mar: ThipkewalaEvlaSutar 

Distribution in India: Resident of Himalayas, hills of South West, East and North East India.

Description: Size of 9–10·5 cm; Wt. of 9–13·2 g. The male has rufous-orange to yellow forehead barred or spotted black, yellowish-white lores; broad black stripe from eye backwards, bordered by white stripes, black malar stripe with white feather fringes; olive-green crown, bright olive-green upperparts. The upperwing and coverts are brownish-black with greenish or yellow-green edges. The uppertail is black, inner webs of central feather pair and subterminal patches of outer two pairs are white; dull white chin and throat, yellowish lower throat usually with few black spots. The remaining underparts are white to pale yellowish-white with black spots, flanks more barred, belly and central undertail-coverts are unmarked; underwing is grey, coverts tinged yellow and spotted black. The bill is short, culmen slightly curved, black or bluish-black; iris is brown, blue-grey orbital skin; legs are blue-grey. The female is like the male, but forehead is olive-green. The juvenile is like the female, but plumage is duller, bill is paler.

Habitat: It is found in deciduous and mixed deciduous forest, evergreen tropical montane forest, second growth, particularly where bamboo is present. It is found from 900–3000m,

Food habits: It eats insects and their larvae like ants, geometrid caterpillars, weevils and longhorn beetles, spiders and their eggs. It hunts singly or in pairs; often present in mixed-species flocks, outside breeding season. It forages in undergrowth, on trunk and branches of small trees, and in bushes, vines and bamboo; frequently hangs upside-down, and moves along thin vertical twigs.It often concentrates on one spot for several minutes, pecking and hammering vigorously. Its presence often revealed by loud persistent tapping. Also hovers to catch prey, or pursues flushed prey to take it on the wing.

Breeding habits: They breed in Jan–May. The male displays by circling around mate and pursuing her around branch. The nest is excavated by both sexes in dead branch or small tree, or bamboo and in palm fronds.They lay a clutch of 2–4 eggs. Both the parents incubate. The incubation period is11 days. Both parents feed nestlings. The fledgling period is 11 days.