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Sittasomus griseicapillus

Olivaceous Woodcreeper

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Furnariidae
  • Polytypic 15 Subspecies

Authors: Patten, Michael A.

Sittasomus griseicapillus

Olivaceous Woodcreeper, sylviellus group. Location unknown; 12 January 2010 © Dario Lins

The Olivaceous Woodcreeper is a fairly common, widespread, and distinctive suboscine passerine of Neotropical forest and woodland. It is highly polytypic, with fifteen diagnosable subspecies in five subspecies groups (two or thee of which may be separate biological species). This species is the only small woodcreeper with a short bill and no streaking on the head and underparts. Like many other woodcreepers, it has extensive rufous in the wings and rufous rectrices that are sharply pointed and used as props while hitching up trunks and branches. It forages at all levels, although preferred strata vary somewhat among populations, and it often associates, at least loosely, with mixed-species flocks or at army ant swarms. It nests in a cavity or crevice in a tree trunk. The vocalizations of the Olivaceous Woodcreeper vary geographically, with birds from Mexico to northwestern South America giving a trilled song, and birds from elsewhere in South America giving an antwren-like series of whistles. 

Recommended Citation

Patten, Michael A.. 2011. Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus), Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online:

This map is based on maps available from the NatureServe InfoNatura website, for the distribution in Central America and/or Caribbean, and on a map provided by Robert S. Ridgely, for the South American distribution.

The data for the InforNatura maps are provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE.

  • Migration/Movement:Resident (nonmigratory)
  • Primary Habitat:Tropical lowland evergreen forest
  • Foraging Strata:Midstory/Canopy
  • Foraging Behavior:Glean
  • Diet:Terrestrial invertebrates
  • Sociality:Mixed Flocks
  • Mating System:Unknown
  • Nest Form:Cavity
  • Clutch: 2 - 3
  • IUCN Status:Least Concern