Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Lesser Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus fuscus)


French: Grimpar brun German: Blasskehl-Baumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos enano

Dendrocopus fuscus


, 1818,

near Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


See X. atlanticus. Formerly placed in genus Lepidocolaptes, but molecular studies indicate more appropriate placement in present genus, as also suggested by both behavioural observations and morphological characters. Molecular data suggest it is apparently sister to a combined X. pardalotusX. ocellatus (with beauperthuysii and chunchotambo) and X. elegansX. spixii clade. Subspecies name pintoi is a replacement for brevirostris, as latter preoccupied when species moved from Lepidocolaptes to present genus#R. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. f. pintoi Longmore & Silveira, 2005 – arid interior of NE Brazil (W Bahia).
  • X. f. tenuirostris (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1820) – coastal E Brazil from C Bahia S to R Doce (Espírito Santo).
  • X. f. fuscus (Vieillot, 1818) – SE Brazil from S Goiás, E Minas Gerais and Espírito Santo (R Doce) S to NE & C Rio Grande do Sul, also S & SE Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–18·5 cm; 15·5–25 g. Small, slim woodcreeper with proportionately large head, steep forehead, relatively long, slim, somewhat decurved bill.... read more


    Song a sharp rattle of 3–6 seconds, with several slow “chip” notes accelerating... read more


    Variety of forest types. Mainly lowland rainforest and humid montane forest in much of range; also... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet predominantly, if not exclusively, arthropods. Stomach contents of adults in one study mostly beetles (80% of diet), but also... read more


    Gonadal condition, and presence of brood patches and cloacal protuberances, suggest breeding in Sept–Dec throughout range; nests with... read more


    Presumably resident throughout range; significantly lower encounter rates in non-breeding season at... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Fairly common to common throughout much of Brazilian range, but rare to uncommon along S & SW fringes; uncommon and local in Rio... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R., Patten, M.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Lesser Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus fuscus). 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 5 December 2019).