The Olivaceous Woodcreeper is widespread throughout the Neotropics . It occurs from northern Mexico (~23.5º N latitude) south through Central America and thence through almost the whole of tropical South America (save for the high Andes). The species reaches its southern range limits in central Uruguay, well outside the tropics (~33.0º S latitude). It occurs on Tobago but, curiously, not Trinidad.
Migration has not been reported in this species—it apparently is resident throughout its range. Three of four birds translocated among sites in central Veracruz, Mexico, returned to their territories shortly after being moved (Ramos and Rappole 1994).
The species typically occurs below 1500 m elevation but sometimes reaches 2000 m, locally, on the Pacific Slope of Middle America (Howell and Webb 1995) and 2300 m in northern Venezuela, the Bolivian Andes, and the Atlantic Forest of southeastern Brazil (Holt 1928, Meyer de Schauensee and Phelps 1978, Fjeldså and Krabbe 1990).
Distribution outside the Americas
Endemic to the Americas.
The Olivaceous Woodcreeper inhabits a variety of wooded habitats. Most populations occupy lowland evergreen forests, but those in mountains inhabit montane evergreen forest and cloud forest and those in drier regions inhabit deciduous woodland, pine-oak forest, gallery forest, caatinga, and cerrado (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Gram 1998). In Amazonia, birds are most common in terra firme forest, less common in seasonally flooded forests (várzea and igapó). The species inhabits interior, canopy, and edge of mature forest, less often in older second growth or tree plantations (Ridgely and Tudor 1994, Parker et al. 1996, Becker and Agreda 2005). In drier regions it may occupy scrubbier habitats (Vallely and Whitman 1997, Marantz et al. 2003). On occasion birds occur in bamboo stands (Willis and Oniki 2001), pine forest (Russell 1964), mangroves (Ridgely and Gwynne 1989), or urban parks (Santos and Cademartori 2010).
This species recently has expanded its range northward in northeastern Mexico to central Tamaulipas (Brush 2009).
No fossil specimens are known.
Patten, M. A. (2011). Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.oliwoo1.01