Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Eastern Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus)


French: Grimpar fauvette German: Dünnschnabel-Baumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos oliváceo oriental

Dendrocopus griseicapillus


, 1818,

Concepción del Paraguay, Paraguay


Taxonomy complex, requiring further research; hitherto included S. griseus and its various races, which, when lumped with present species, comprised two out of five groups differentiated on size and plumage. Remaining three groups in fact consist of four when vocal characters added#R: former “griseicapillus group” (breaks into two, “amazonus group” and “griseicapillus group”) of Amazonia and Chaco, monotypic “reiseri group” of NE Brazil, and “sylviellus group” of E & SE South America. These groups may, on rigorous investigation, each represent species. Proposed race viridior, from E Bolivia, barely distinguishable from viridis, perhaps reflecting intergradation between latter and nominate. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • S. g. amazonus Lafresnaye, 1850 – Amazonian Woodcreeper – W Amazonia, both N & S of R Amazon, from SE Colombia (S from S Meta, Vichada and Guainía) and S Venezuela (W & S Amazonas) S to E Ecuador, E Peru and N & W Brazil (E to R Negro and R Madeira, S to NW Mato Grosso).
  • S. g. axillaris J. T. Zimmer, 1934 – NE Amazonia N of R Amazon, in SE Venezuela (N & C Amazonas, Bolívar), Guyana, French Guiana and N Brazil (lower R Negro E to Amapá); probably occurs also in Suriname.
  • S. g. transitivus O. M. O. Pinto & Camargo, 1948 – SE Amazonian Brazil S of Amazon, E from at least R Tapajós (probably from R Madeira), S to NE Mato Grosso.
  • S. g. viridis Carriker, 1935 – Amazonian Bolivia (Beni, La Paz, Cochabamba, N & E Santa Cruz).
  • S. g. griseicapillus (Vieillot, 1818) – Chaco Woodcreeper – SE Bolivia (S Santa Cruz SW to Tarija), SC Brazil (SW Mato Grosso, Mato Grosso do Sul) and N & W Paraguay S to NC Argentina (S to Catamarca, Santiago del Estero and N Santa Fe).
  • S. g. reiseri Hellmayr, 1917 – Reiser's Woodcreeper – NE Brazil (S Maranhão, Ceará and Pernambuco S to Tocantins and N & W Bahia).
  • S. g. olivaceus Wied, 1831 – coastal E Brazil (SE Bahia).
  • S. g. sylviellus (Temminck, 1821) – Olivaceous Woodcreeper – SE South America in SE & S Brazil (S from SE Goiás, Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo), SE Paraguay, NE Argentina (Misiones, NE Corrientes) and NE Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    15–19·5 cm; 8–20 g. Small but distinctive woodcreeper with slim body and straight bill that is relatively wide basally. Nominate race has crown and nape... read more


    Song given at infrequent intervals, most often in morning but also throughout day. Vocalizations... read more


    Variety of wooded habitats, mostly lowland evergreen forest, but populations in mountains range... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet comprises chiefly invertebrates (mostly arthropods), but vegetable matter occasionally taken. Detailed analysis of stomach contents in... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in mid Mar to late May in early Jul in NE Brazil, mid Aug to mid Oct in S Amazonia, and Oct to early Dec in S... read more


    Apparently resident throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common over much of Amazonia and rest of South American range, but inconspicuous and often difficult to detect... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R., Patten, M.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2020). Eastern Olivaceous Woodcreeper (Sittasomus griseicapillus). 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 25 January 2020).