Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Olive-backed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus triangularis)


French: Grimpar à dos olive German: Olivrücken-Baumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos dorsioliva

Dendrocolaptes triangularis


, 1842,

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


Sister-species to X. erythropygius#R, and sometimes regarded as conspecific; treatment as separate species supported by molecular evidence, vocalizations, apparent lack of intergradation, and elevational replacement where ranges approach (at most, very limited sympatry on W slope of Andes in SW Colombia and W Ecuador). Proposed race distinctus (W Andes of Colombia) included in nominate; hylodromus differs only slightly from nominate, but is geographically disjunct; intermedius intergrades in SE Peru with bangsi, from which it may not be reliably distinguishable. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. t. hylodromus Wetmore, 1939 – coastal and interior mountains of N Venezuela (Andes in Trujillo and SE Lara, Yaracuy E to Miranda and Distrito Federal).
  • X. t. triangularis (Lafresnaye, 1842) – Andes of W Venezuela (Zulia, SW Táchira, Mérida), Colombia (W, C & E cordilleras except in W Nariño), E Ecuador and N Peru (N of R Marañón).
  • X. t. intermedius Carriker, 1935 – E slope of Andes of C & SE Peru (Pasco, Junín, Cuzco).
  • X. t. bangsi Chapman, 1919 – E Andean slopes from SE Peru S to C Bolivia (La Paz, Cochabamba, W Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    19·5–25 cm; male 40–52 g, female 32–48 g (57 g when laying). Medium-sized woodcreeper with bill slightly decurved and about as long as head is wide.... read more


    Poorly known, apparently rather quiet. Song a series of hard notes that accelerates then slows, “we... read more


    Primarily evergreen forest in middle elevations of Andes. Most common in humid and very humid... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet not described in detail; presumably mostly insectivorous. Forages primarily by hitching up trunks, moss-covered branches and large... read more


    Season Apr–Jun in N Venezuela; in Colombia, birds in breeding condition in Apr–Jun in W & C Andes, and both a breeding-... read more


    Apparently resident.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common in montane forests throughout its range. Largely restricted to mature forest, and therefore believed to be highly sensitive... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2019). Olive-backed Woodcreeper (Xiphorhynchus triangularis). 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).