Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Cocoa Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus susurrans)


French: Grimpar cacao German: Kakaobaumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos Cacao
Other common names: Lawrence's Woodcreeper (“nana group”)

Dendrocolaptes susurrans


, 1847,



Formerly treated as conspecific with X. guttatus and X. guttatoides, but recent molecular study (with enlarged dataset)#R supports an earlier proposal to recognize these as three distinct species differing in calls and body size; geographical patterns in songs, however, are more complex than previously realized. Two subspecies groups, differing markedly in plumage patterns: “susurrans group” in E of range (Trinidad, Tobago, Margarita I and adjacent Venezuelan mainland) and “nana group” in Central America, N Colombia and N & W Venezuela. Race nana often misspelt “nanus” but the word is a noun and spelling therefore invariable#R. Birds from NE Colombia and adjacent NW Venezuela, described as race demonstratus, are inseparable from nana. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. s. confinis (Bangs, 1903) – Caribbean slope of E Guatemala and N Honduras.
  • X. s. costaricensis (Ridgway, 1888) – Central America, on both slopes, from SE Honduras to W Panama (W Chiriquí, W Bocas del Toro).
  • X. s. marginatus Griscom, 1927 – Pacific slope of C Panama (E Chiriquí, Veraguas and W Azuero Peninsula).
  • X. s. nana (Lawrence, 1863) – Western Cocoa Woodcreeper – both Caribbean and Pacific slopes of E Panama (W to Canal Zone and E slope of Azuero Peninsula), N Colombia (E to W Guajira, Atrato Valley, lower Cauca Valley, upper Magdalena Valley S to Tolima, and E of Andes in NW Arauca) and W & N Venezuela (Zulia, Táchira and W Apure E to E Miranda).
  • X. s. rosenbergi Bangs, 1910 – upper Cauca Valley in Valle (W Colombia).
  • X. s. jardinei (Dalmas, 1900) – NE Venezuela (NE Anzoátegui, N Monagas, Sucre).
  • X. s. margaritae Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1949 – Margarita I, off N Venezuela.
  • X. s. susurrans (Jardine, 1847) – Eastern Cocoa Woodcreeper – Trinidad and Tobago; also one record from adjacent NE Venezuela (SE Sucre).
  • Descriptive notes

    22·5–25·5 cm, male 43–57·5 g, female 41·5–48 g (“susurrans group”); 18·5–24·5 cm, 35... read more


    Remarkably vocal for a woodcreeper often singing incessantly in early morning and late afternoon (... read more


    Chiefly humid evergreen forest of lowlands, occasionally into adjacent foothills. Principally... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet chiefly arthropods, but occasionally takes small vertebrates. Prey observed taken or found in stomachs includes beetles, cockroaches (... read more


    Breeds in Apr–Jun in N Venezuela and Mar–Aug in Trinidad and Tobago; nests with eggs in Mar–Jul in Costa Rica and Panama... read more


    Apparently resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common throughout most of extensive range, including Trinidad and Tobago; uncommon to rare and local at upper end of elevational... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2020). Cocoa Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus susurrans). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 28 January 2020).