Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Montane Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger)


French: Grimpar montagnard German: Bergwald-Baumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos montano

Dendrocolaptes lacrymiger

Des Murs

, 1849,

Mexico; error = “Santa Fe de Bogotá”, Colombia


Apparently sister to L. leucogaster and L. affinis (with neglectus)#R#R; in past, often treated as conspecific with L. affinis (with neglectus), but separated by differences in plumage and voice (although vocal characters yet to be analysed in detail). Races can be divided into N “lacrymiger group” and S “warscewiczi group” on basis of morphology. Race sneiderni intergrades with nominate in Bogotá region of Colombia. Forms aequatorialis, carabayae, bolivianus and frigidus weakly differentiated. Nine subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • L. l. sanctaemartae (Chapman, 1912) – N Colombia (Santa Marta region).
  • L. l. lacrymiger (Des Murs, 1849) – Northern Montane Woodcreeper – E Andes of Colombia (from Norte de Santander S to Bogotá); also adjacent W Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá, Mérida Andes from Táchira N to SE Lara).
  • L. l. lafresnayi (Cabanis & Heine, 1860) – #Rcoastal cordillera of N Venezuela (Carabobo E to Miranda, and SW Sucre).
  • L. l. sneiderni Meyer de Schauensee, 1945 – Colombia S from Bogotá (except Nariño), on both slopes of W & C Andes and W slope of E range, also upper Cauca and Magdalena Valleys.
  • L. l. frigidus Meyer de Schauensee, 1951 – S Colombia (E Andean slopes in Nariño).
  • L. l. aequatorialis (Ménégaux, 1912) – Pacific slope of Andes in Nariño (SW Colombia), both slopes in Ecuador (in W, S to Loja); unclear whether birds on W Slope in NW Peru refer to aequatorialis or warscewiczi.
  • L. l. warscewiczi (Cabanis & Heine, 1860) – #RSouthern Montane Woodcreeper – E slope of Andes in extreme SE Ecuador and N & C Peru (Cajamarca and Amazonas S to Junín).
  • L. l. carabayae Hellmayr, 1920 – E slope of Andes in SE Peru (Cuzco, Puno).
  • L. l. bolivianus (Chapman, 1919) – E slope of Andes in NW & C Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, W Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    19–19·5 cm; male 31–35 g, female 29·5–33 g. Relatively small to medium-sized woodcreeper with slim, slightly decurved bill c. 1·5 times... read more


    Generally quiet. Song a 2·5 second series of 10–15 high-pitched whistles that... read more


    Occurs in a variety of forested habitats, primarily in middle and upper elevations. Most common in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet comprises arthropods, but details not known. Usually encountered singly or in pairs among mixed-species flocks (over 70% of all... read more


    Season Apr–Jun in N Venezuela; apparently during dry seasons in Colombian Andes, where nests with eggs in early Aug (Huila) and with... read more


    Mostly resident, but some seasonal movement to lower elevations in Venezuela (especially during wet... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common, and locally common, in humid forest almost throughout range, but apparently rare where present in montane dry forest in N... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2019). Montane Woodcreeper (Lepidocolaptes lacrymiger). 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 7 December 2019).