Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Red-billed Scythebill (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris)


French: Grimpar à bec rouge German: Rotrücken-Sensenschnabel Spanish: Picoguadaña piquirrojo

Dendrocolaptes trochilirostris

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1820,

Brazil = Bahia, Brazil


Suggested as sister-species of C. procurvoides; also close to C. falcularius (which see), and sometimes considered conspecific. Assessment of geographical variation and separation from C. procurvoides both complicated by marked individual variation in general coloration and in extent and width of streaking above and below, but at least three geographically isolated groups evident: “venezuelensis group” in E Panama and N South America; “thoracicus group” along Pacific coast of South America; and “trochilirostris group” from Amazonia, Atlantic Forest and dry interior of South America. In last-mentioned group, affinities of Amazonian races problematic; napensis morphologically closest to “thoracicus group”, whereas notabilis, snethlageae and devius apparently closer to lafresnayanus of dry interior (which region also includes hellmayri and major). Proposed races omissus (E Brazil) and guttistriatus (S Goiás, Brazil) both included in major. Form successor (described as race of C. procurvoides) is a junior synonym of notabilis#R. Twelve subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. t. brevipennis Griscom, 1932 – C & E Panama (N Coclé and E Panamá Province E to Darién) and NW Colombia (Pacific coast S to N Chocó).
  • C. t. venezuelensis (Chapman, 1889) – Northern Red-billed Scythebill – locally in N Colombia from Córdoba E to Magdalena Valley (S to N Huila), Caribbean lowlands and E of E Andes (Norte de Santander S to W Meta), and N & C Venezuela (E to Sucre, S to R Orinoco; locally in NW & S Bolívar); reports from French Guiana apparently refer instead to C. procurvoides.
  • C. t. thoracicus (P. L. Sclater, 1860) – Western Red-billed Scythebill – coast of SW Colombia (SW Nariño) and W Ecuador.
  • C. t. zarumillanus Stolzmann, 1926 – coast of extreme NW Peru (Tumbes, Piura).
  • C. t. napensis Chapman, 1925 – W Amazonia in E Ecuador and E Peru.
  • C. t. notabilis J. T. Zimmer, 1934 – SW & W Amazonian Brazil S of R Amazon, from N Acre and R Purus E to R Madeira; reported also from river islands in lower R Amazon near Óbidos (in Pará).
  • C. t. snethlageae J. T. Zimmer, 1934 – C Amazonian Brazil on both banks of Amazon from R Madeira E to R Tapajós, including islands in R Amazon.
  • C. t. devius J. T. Zimmer, 1934 – SW Amazonia in N Bolivia; populations in adjacent SE Peru & W Brazil (Acre, SW Amazonas) may represent this race.
  • C. t. lafresnayanus (d’Orbigny, 1846) – E Bolivia (Santa Cruz), SW Brazil (W Mato Grosso, W Mato Grosso do Sul, possibly farther E) and W Paraguay (S to R Pilcomayo).
  • C. t. hellmayri Laubmann, 1930 – SW Paraguay (Ñeembucú) and N Argentina (Salta, Formosa and W Corrientes, S to La Rioja, Santiago del Estero, N Santa Fe and Entre Ríos).
  • C. t. major Ridgway, 1911 – interior E & S Brazil, from Piauí, Ceará and W Pernambuco S to Minas Gerais and extreme W Paraná.
  • C. t. trochilirostris (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1820) – Southern Red-billed Scythebill – coastal E Brazil from Pernambuco S to SE Bahia (Ilhéus).
  • Descriptive notes

    22–28 cm; 30–55 g. Slim, medium-sized woodcreeper with very long, slim, strongly decurved bill. Nominate race has finely streaked face and neck, weakly defined... read more


    Song highly variable, both geographically and motivationally. Variation best documented in... read more


    Occurs in a variety of wooded habitats, both in lowlands and adjacent foothills, but usually in... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet primarily arthropods and especially soft-bodied items such as spiders, but some vertebrate prey apparently taken. Stomach contents... read more


    Breeding in May–Jul in N Venezuela; nest with eggs in late Oct in Argentina (Santa Fe); immature in late Jan in Paraguayan Chaco;... read more


    Apparently resident and territorial throughout range.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common but locally distributed throughout most of range; quite scarce within limited region of Central America where it occurs,... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2020). Red-billed Scythebill (Campylorhamphus trochilirostris). 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 25 January 2020).