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Little woodpecker

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Little woodpecker
Veniliornis passerinus.jpg
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Piciformes
Family: Picidae
Genus: Veniliornis
Species:
V. passerinus
Binomial name
Veniliornis passerinus
(Linnaeus, 1766)
Veniliornis passerinus map.svg
Synonyms
  • Picus passerinus Linnaeus, 1766
  • Dryobates passerinus

The little woodpecker (Veniliornis passerinus) is a species of bird in subfamily Picinae of the woodpecker family Picidae.[2] It is found in every mainland South American country except Chile, Suriname, and Uruguay.[3]

Taxonomy and systematics

In 1760 the French zoologist Mathurin Jacques Brisson included a description of the little woodpecker in his Ornithologie based on a specimen collected in Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). He used the French name Le petit pic de S. Domingue and the Latin name Picus dominicensis minor.[4] Although Brisson coined Latin names, these do not conform to the binomial system and are not recognised by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature.[5] When in 1766 the Swedish naturalist Carl Linnaeus updated his Systema Naturae for the twelfth edition he added 240 species that had been previously described by Brisson.[5] One of these was the little woodpecker. Linnaeus included a terse description, coined the binomial name Picus passerinus and cited Brisson's work.[6] Linnaeus mistakenly specified the type location as Dominica. This has been corrected to Cayenne in French Guiana.[7] The specific name passerinus is from Latin and means "sparrow like".[8]

The International Ornithological Committee and BirdLife International's Handbook of the Birds of the World place the little woodpecker in genus Veniliornis.[2][9] However, starting in 2018, the American Ornithological Society and the Clements taxonomy moved all species of genus Veniliornis into genus Dryobates.[10][11][12]

The genus Veniliornis was introduced by the French ornithologist Charles Lucien Bonaparte in 1854.[13]

The taxonomic systems agree that the little woodpecker has these nine subspecies:[2][12][9]

  • V. (or D.) p. fidelis (Hargitt, 1889)
  • V. (or D.) p. modestus Zimmer, J.T., 1942
  • V. (or D.) p. diversus Zimmer, J.T., 1942
  • V. (or D.) p. agilis (Cabanis & Heine, 1863)
  • V. (or D.) p. insignis Zimmer, J.T., 1942
  • V. (or D.) p. tapajozensis Gyldenstolpe, 1941
  • V. (or D.) p. passerinus (Linnaeus, 1766)
  • V. (or D.) p. taenionotus (Reichenbach, 1854)
  • V. (or D.) p. olivinus (Natterer & Malherbe, 1845)

Subspecies fidelis, agilis, taenionotus, and olivinus have all at times been treated as individual species.[11]

Discover more about Taxonomy and systematics related topics

Mathurin Jacques Brisson

Mathurin Jacques Brisson

Mathurin Jacques Brisson was a French zoologist and natural philosopher.

Saint-Domingue

Saint-Domingue

Saint-Domingue was a French colony in the western portion of the Caribbean island of Hispaniola, in the area of modern-day Haiti, from 1659 to 1804. The name derives from the Spanish main city on the island, Santo Domingo, which came to refer specifically to the Spanish-held Captaincy General of Santo Domingo, now the Dominican Republic. The borders between the two were fluid and changed over time until they were finally solidified in the Dominican War of Independence in 1844.

Binomial nomenclature

Binomial nomenclature

In taxonomy, binomial nomenclature, also called binominal nomenclature or binary nomenclature, is a formal system of naming species of living things by giving each a name composed of two parts, both of which use Latin grammatical forms, although they can be based on words from other languages. Such a name is called a binomial name, a binomen, binominal name or a scientific name; more informally it is also historically called a Latin name.

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature

International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature

The International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature (ICZN) is an organization dedicated to "achieving stability and sense in the scientific naming of animals". Founded in 1895, it currently comprises 26 commissioners from 20 countries.

Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus

Carl Linnaeus, also known after his ennoblement in 1761 as Carl von Linné, was a Swedish botanist, zoologist, taxonomist, and physician who formalised binomial nomenclature, the modern system of naming organisms. He is known as the "father of modern taxonomy". Many of his writings were in Latin; his name is rendered in Latin as Carolus Linnæus and, after his 1761 ennoblement, as Carolus a Linné.

12th edition of Systema Naturae

12th edition of Systema Naturae

The 12th edition of Systema Naturae was the last edition of Systema Naturae to be overseen by its author, Carl Linnaeus. It was published by Laurentius Salvius in Holmiæ (Stockholm) in three volumes, with parts appearing from 1766 to 1768. It contains many species not covered in the previous edition, the 10th edition which was the starting point for zoological nomenclature.

Dominica

Dominica

Dominica, officially the Commonwealth of Dominica, is an island country in the Caribbean. The capital, Roseau, is located on the western side of the island. It is geographically situated as part of the Windward Islands chain in the Lesser Antilles archipelago in the Caribbean Sea. Dominica's closest neighbours are two constituent territories of the European Union, the overseas departments of France, Guadeloupe to the northwest and Martinique to the south-southeast. Dominica comprises a land area of 750 km2 (290 sq mi), and the highest point is Morne Diablotins, at 1,447 m (4,747 ft) in elevation. The population was 71,293 at the 2011 census.

Cayenne

Cayenne

Cayenne is the capital city of French Guiana, an overseas region and department of France located in South America. The city stands on a former island at the mouth of the Cayenne River on the Atlantic coast. The city's motto is "fert aurum industria", which means "work brings wealth". Cayenne is the largest francophone city of the South American continent.

BirdLife International

BirdLife International

BirdLife International is a global partnership of non-governmental organizations that strives to conserve birds and their habitats. BirdLife International's priorities include preventing extinction of bird species, identifying and safeguarding important sites for birds, maintaining and restoring key bird habitats, and empowering conservationists worldwide.

Handbook of the Birds of the World

Handbook of the Birds of the World

The Handbook of the Birds of the World (HBW) is a multi-volume series produced by the Spanish publishing house Lynx Edicions in partnership with BirdLife International. It is the first handbook to cover every known living species of bird. The series was edited by Josep del Hoyo, Andrew Elliott, Jordi Sargatal and David A. Christie.

American Ornithological Society

American Ornithological Society

The American Ornithological Society (AOS) is an ornithological organization based in the United States. The society was formed in October 2016 by the merger of the American Ornithologists' Union (AOU) and the Cooper Ornithological Society. Its members are primarily professional ornithologists, although membership is open to anyone with an interest in birds. The society publishes the two scholarly journals, The Auk and The Condor as well as the AOS Checklist of North American Birds.

Dryobates

Dryobates

Dryobates is a genus of birds in the woodpecker family Picidae. The species are widely distributed and occur in both Eurasia and the Americas.

Description

The little woodpecker is about 14 to 15 cm (5.5 to 5.9 in) long and weighs 24 to 37 g (0.85 to 1.3 oz). Males and females have the same plumage except on their heads. Males of the nominate subspecies passerinus have a red forehead, crown, and nape with dark feather bases showing through. The female is grayish olive-brown with indistinct white spots where the male is red. Adults of both sexes have a mostly dark brownish-olive face with pale barring on the chin and throat. Their upperparts are mostly bronzy olive-green with red feather tips, and pale barring on the rump. Their flight feathers are brown with green edges, and narrowish whitish bars on the primaries and secondaries. Their wing coverts have small pale spots. Their tail is dark brown with thin pale bars on the outer feathers. Their underparts are dark olive narrowly barred with buffish white. The iris is deep brown, the longish beak blackish with a paler mandible, and the legs are dark gray. Juveniles are duller and have less bronzy upperparts and less regular bars on the underparts. Both sexes have some red on the crown, the male more than the female.[14]

The other subspecies have differences from the nominate and each other but tend to intergrade. Subspecies modestus has a white "moustache", obvious spots on the wing coverts, and gray-brown underparts with irregular barring. Subspecies fidelis has a pale supercilium, a large white moustache, large spots on the wing coverts, broken or scallop-shaped underparts barring, and usually no bars on the tail. Subspecies diversus has faint or no facial stripes, very pale thin streaks on the wing coverts, and wide bars on the underparts; the male has red only from the central crown to the hindneck. Subspecies agilis has "well developed" supercilium and moustache lines. Subspecies insignis is the smallest; it has no facial stripes, no wing covert spots, and wide pale stripes on the underparts. The male has red only from the central crown to the hindneck. Subspecies tapajozensis's upperparts have a yellow tinge with some red spots. Subspecies taenionotus has yellower upperparts than tapajozensis with hints of barring, large wing covert spots, and very wide pale bars on the underparts. Subspecies olivinus is the largest. It sometimes has a pale supercilium and moustache; the male has red only on the hindcrown and nape.[14]

Discover more about Description related topics

Distribution and habitat

The subspecies of little woodpecker are found thus:[2][14]

  • V. (or D.) p. fidelis, eastern Colombia and western Venezuela
  • V. (or D.) p. modestus, central and northeastern Venezuela
  • V. (or D.) p. diversus, northern Brazil north of the Amazon
  • V. (or D.) p. agilis, extreme southern Colombia, eastern Ecuador, eastern Peru, western Brazil, and northern Bolivia
  • V. (or D.) p. insignis, west central Brazil south of the Amazon
  • V. (or D.) p. tapajozensis, east central Brazil along the lower Amazon
  • V. (or D.) p. passerinus, the Guianas and northeastern Brazil (but see below)
  • V. (or D.) p. taenionotus, eastern Brazil
  • V. (or D.) p. olivinus, southeastern Bolivia, southern Brazil, eastern Paraguay, and northwestern and northeastern Argentina

Regarding the range of passerinus, the IOC and Clements list it in "the Guianas", but the South American Classification Committee of the American Ornithological Society has no records of it in Suriname.[2][12][3]

The little woodpecker inhabits a wide variety of landscapes, though it generally shuns forest interiors. It usually stays to the edges of cloudforest, várzea forest, and riparian forest. It occurs in gallery forest with bamboo stands, deciduous woodland, mangroves, secondary forest, wooded savanna, and caatinga. In elevation it ranges from sea level along the Atlantic coast to 850 m (2,800 ft) in Venezuela, to 1,200 m (3,900 ft) in Colombia, to 1,300 m (4,300 ft) but usually below 700 m (2,300 ft) in Ecuador, to 900 m (3,000 ft) in Peru, and to 400 m (1,300 ft) in the southern part of its range.[14]

Discover more about Distribution and habitat related topics

Várzea forest

Várzea forest

A várzea forest is a seasonal floodplain forest inundated by whitewater rivers that occurs in the Amazon biome. Until the late 1970s, the definition was less clear and várzea was often used for all periodically flooded Amazonian forests.

Gallery forest

Gallery forest

A gallery forest is one formed as a corridor along rivers or wetlands, projecting into landscapes that are otherwise only sparsely treed such as savannas, grasslands, or deserts. The gallery forest maintains a more temperate microclimate above the river. Defined as long and narrow forest vegetation associated with rivers, gallery forests are structurally and floristically heterogeneous.

Secondary forest

Secondary forest

A secondary forest is a forest or woodland area which has re-grown after a timber harvest or clearing for agriculture, until a long enough period has passed so that the effects of the disturbance are no longer evident. It is distinguished from an old-growth forest, which has not recently undergone such disruption, and complex early seral forest, as well as third-growth forests that result from harvest in second growth forests. Secondary forest regrowing after timber harvest differs from forest regrowing after natural disturbances such as fire, insect infestation, or windthrow because the dead trees remain to provide nutrients, structure, and water retention after natural disturbances. However, often after natural disturbance the timber is harvested and removed from the system, in which case the system more closely resembles secondary forest rather than seral forest.

Caatinga

Caatinga

Caatinga is a type of semi-arid tropical vegetation, and an ecoregion characterized by this vegetation in interior northeastern Brazil. The name "Caatinga" is a Tupi word meaning "white forest" or "white vegetation".

Behavior

Movement

The little woodpecker is a year-round resident throughout its range.[14]

Feeding

The little woodpecker forages at all levels of the forest, from the undergrowth to the canopy; it is partial to bamboo. It feeds singly, in pairs, in small groups, and as a member of mixed species foraging flocks. It vigorously pecks and hammers on trunks and branches and bamboo nodes. Its diet includes a wide variety of adult and larval insects including ants, termites, and beetles.[14]

Breeding

The little woodpecker's nesting season varies geographically, from September-December in French Guiana to October-March in Argentina. The male alone is believed to excavate the nest hole; it is typically 5 to 13 m (15 to 45 ft) above the ground in a stub, palm, or bamboo. The typical clutch size, incubation period, and time to fledging are not known. Both parents provision nestlings.[14]

Vocal and non-vocal sounds

What is believed to be the little woodpecker's long-distance call is a "[h]igh-pitched 'ki, ki, ki, ki' or 'wi-wi-wi-wi-wi-wi-wi'." It also makes "wicka" or "wik-wik-wik" calls. The species drums.[14]

Status

The IUCN has assessed the little woodpecker as being of Least Concern. It has an extremely large range, and though its population size is not known it is believed to be stable. No immediate threats have been identified.[1] It is "generally...not uncommon" and is an "adaptable species, able to exploit a variety of wooded habitats."[14]

Source: "Little woodpecker", Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, (2023, February 14th), https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_woodpecker.

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References
  1. ^ a b BirdLife International (2018). "Little Woodpecker Veniliornis passerinus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2018: e.T22681199A130038374. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2018-2.RLTS.T22681199A130038374.en. Retrieved 25 January 2023.
  2. ^ a b c d e Gill, F.; Donsker, D.; Rasmussen, P., eds. (August 2022). "Woodpeckers". IOC World Bird List. v 12.2. Retrieved 9 January 2023.
  3. ^ a b Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, E. Bonaccorso, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, D. F. Lane, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 24 July 2022. Species Lists of Birds for South American Countries and Territories. https://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCCountryLists.htm retrieved July 24, 2022
  4. ^ Brisson, Mathurin Jacques (1760). Ornithologie, ou, Méthode contenant la division des oiseaux en ordres, sections, genres, especes & leurs variétés (in French and Latin). Vol. 4. Paris: Jean-Baptiste Bauche. pp. 75–77, Plate 4 fig 2. The two stars (**) at the start of the paragraph indicates that Brisson based his description on the examination of a specimen.
  5. ^ a b Allen, J.A. (1910). "Collation of Brisson's genera of birds with those of Linnaeus". Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History. 28: 317–335. hdl:2246/678.
  6. ^ Linnaeus, Carl (1766). Systema naturae : per regna tria natura, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis (in Latin). Vol. 1, Part 1 (12th ed.). Holmiae (Stockholm): Laurentii Salvii. p. 174.
  7. ^ Peters, James Lee, ed. (1948). Check-list of Birds of the World. Vol. 6. Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press. p. 172.
  8. ^ Jobling, J.A. (2018). del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J.; Christie, D.A.; de Juana, E. (eds.). "Key to Scientific Names in Ornithology: passerinum / passerinus". Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions. Retrieved 2 April 2018.
  9. ^ a b HBW and BirdLife International (2022) Handbook of the Birds of the World and BirdLife International digital checklist of the birds of the world. Version 7. Available at: http://datazone.birdlife.org/userfiles/file/Species/Taxonomy/HBW-BirdLife_Checklist_v7_Dec22.zip retrieved December 13, 2022
  10. ^ R. Terry Chesser, Kevin J. Burns, Carla Cicero, Jon L. Dunn, Andrew W. Kratter, Irby J. Lovette, Pamela C. Rasmussen, J. V. Remsen, Jr., Douglas F. Stotz, Benjamin M. Winger, and Kevin Winker. "Fifty-ninth supplement to the American Ornithological Society’s Check-list of North American Birds". The Auk 2018, vol. 135:798-813 retrieved December 13, 2022
  11. ^ a b Remsen, J. V., Jr., J. I. Areta, E. Bonaccorso, S. Claramunt, A. Jaramillo, D. F. Lane, J. F. Pacheco, M. B. Robbins, F. G. Stiles, and K. J. Zimmer. Version 24 July 2022. A classification of the bird species of South America. American Ornithological Society. https://www.museum.lsu.edu/~Remsen/SACCBaseline.htm retrieved July 24, 2022
  12. ^ a b c Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, T. A. Fredericks, J. A. Gerbracht, D. Lepage, S. M. Billerman, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2022. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2022. Downloaded from https://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/ retrieved November 10, 2022
  13. ^ Bonaparte, Charles Lucien (1854). "Quadro dei volucri zigodattili, ossia passeri a piedi scansori". L'Ateneo Italiano Raccolta di Documenti e Memorie Relative al Progresso delle Scienze Fisiche (in Italian and Latin). 2: 116–129 [125].
  14. ^ a b c d e f g h i Winkler, H. and D. A. Christie (2020). Little Woodpecker (Dryobates passerinus), version 1.0. In Birds of the World (J. del Hoyo, A. Elliott, J. Sargatal, D. A. Christie, and E. de Juana, Editors). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.litwoo2.01 retrieved January 25, 2023
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