Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Great Rufous Woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes major)


French: Grand Grimpar German: Rötelbaumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos colorado

Dendrocopus major


, 1818,



Relationships uncertain; recent phylogenetic study based on morphology suggested an affiliation with X. albicollis. Nominate race and castaneus intergrade in N Argentina. Individual variation in plumage may be more marked than geographical variation. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. m. castaneus Ridgway, 1890 – NC & E Bolivia, SW Brazil (Mato Grosso do Sul) and NW Argentina (SE Jujuy, N Salta).
  • X. m. remoratus O. M. O. Pinto, 1945 – SW Mato Grosso, Brazil.
  • X. m. major (Vieillot, 1818) – Paraguay and N Argentina (Jujuy, Salta and Formosa S to Córdoba and NE Santa Fe).
  • X. m. estebani J. M. C. Silva & Oren, 1991 – Tucumán, in NW Argentina.
  • Descriptive notes

    27–34 cm; male 120–150 g, female 120–162 g. Large, heavy-bodied woodcreeper with long, heavy, somewhat decurved bill. Nominate race is bright cinnamon-... read more


    Song a slightly descending series of up to 12 disyllabic “hic!-up” whistles with loud,... read more


    Dry forest, semi-deciduous woodland, Chaco woodland, gallery forest; less frequently scrub-forest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Largely insectivorous, but small vertebrates taken at least occasionally. Stomach contents chiefly invertebrates, comprising ants,... read more


    Nest with incubated eggs in mid-Nov in Argentina (Santa Fé); laying female in early Nov in Paraguay; birds in breeding condition in Oct (... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Rare to uncommon over most of range; apparently more common at some sites, e.g. the campos-cerrados of C Paraguay. Relatively rare... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2019). Great Rufous Woodcreeper (Xiphocolaptes major). 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 12 December 2019).