Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster)


French: Grimpar à bec ivoire German: Strichelbaumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos picomarfil

Xiphorhynchus flavigaster


, 1827,

Temascaltepec, México, Mexico


May be sister to X. lachrymosus on basis of molecular data. Assessment of geographical variation complicated by marked individual variation in coloration, overall size, and pattern of streaking (width and shape) both above and below. Race mentalis poorly differentiated from nominate, and intergrades with latter in W Guerrero and with tardus in W Durango; saltuarius, ascensor and ultimus weakly differentiated from eburneirostris. Populations of yucatanensis at base of Yucatán Peninsula show signs of intergradation with eburneirostris, as perhaps does ultimus in NE Costa Rican lowlands. Proposed form striatigularis, known only by type specimen from S Tamaulipas (Mexico), sometimes treated as full species, but recently shown to represent aberrant individual of present species. Race mentalis has normally been attributed to Lawrence, but is instead “Baird in Lawrence”#R#R. Eight subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. f. tardus Bangs & J. L. Peters, 1928 – NW Mexico (SE Sonora, N Sinaloa, W Durango).
  • X. f. mentalis (S. F. Baird, 1867) – coastal W Mexico (C & S Sinaloa and W Durango S to Michoacán and W Guerrero).
  • X. f. flavigaster Swainson, 1827 – SW Mexico (Guerrero, S Oaxaca).
  • X. f. saltuarius Wetmore, 1942 – NE Mexico (S Tamaulipas and SE San Luis Potosí S to N Veracruz).
  • X. f. ascensor Wetmore & Parkes, 1962 – Caribbean slope of S Mexico from S Veracruz and N Oaxaca E to Tabasco, possibly also N Chiapas E to adjacent Guatemala.
  • X. f. yucatanensis Ridgway, 1909 – Yucatán Peninsula S to N Belize and NC Guatemala (Petén).
  • X. f. eburneirostris (Des Murs, 1847) – Caribbean slope from C Guatemala and Belize E to Honduras, also locally in N Costa Rica; Pacific slope from S Mexico (extreme SE Oaxaca, S Chiapas) S to NW Costa Rica.
  • X. f. ultimus Bangs & Griscom, 1932 – hills and adjacent lowlands of Nicoya Peninsula, in NW Costa Rica.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–26·5 cm; male 40–62 g, female 35–56g. Relatively large woodcreeper with long, moderately heavy and slightly decurved bill. Nominate race has face... read more


    Song in W Mexico c. 2·5 seconds long, 15–20 piercing whistles in loud cascade that... read more


    Occupies a variety of wooded habitats from lowlands to middle elevations of foothills. Apparently... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mostly arthropods, but small vertebrates (principally lizards) also taken. Prey taken over army-ants included a large green... read more


    Specimens in breeding condition in late Mar to mid-Aug in N & C of range (Mexico to Honduras); in Mexico, nests with eggs in late Apr... read more


    Apparently resident throughout range; possibly some upslope movement in non-breeding season.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common over most of range (primarily lowlands in Mexico, Belize, Guatemala and Honduras, but in foothills in NW... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2019). Ivory-billed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus flavigaster). 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 11 December 2019).