Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Streaked Xenops (Xenops rutilus)


French: Sittine striée German: Strichelscheitel-Baumspäher Spanish: Picolezna rojizo

Xenops rutilus


, 1821,



Geographical variation over species’ large range slight, despite large number of named races; in fact, there seems to be more variation within nominate than among many of proposed races. Many or most races probably not diagnosable; most described from few specimens and few localities, and many of characters used to define them seem invalid. Racial identity of birds from extreme E Peru and NE Bolivia (Pando) and others from extreme E & SE Bolivia uncertain; the first are tentatively included with purusianus, the second with connectens. Re-evaluation urgently needed. Listed distributions of several races should be interpreted with caution. Specific name has normally been given as rutilans (e.g. in HBW), but that was recently shown to be an incorrect subsequent spelling, which must give way to original spelling, rutilus#R. Eleven subspecies very tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • X. r. septentrionalis J. T. Zimmer, 1929 – Costa Rica and W Panama (W Chiriquí).
  • X. r. incomptus Wetmore, 1970 – extreme E Panama (Cerro Pirre).
  • X. r. phelpsi Meyer de Schauensee, 1959 – Santa Marta Mts, in N Colombia.
  • X. r. perijanus Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1954 – Sierra de Perijá, and E Andes of W Venezuela (S Táchira) and NE Colombia (Santander).
  • X. r. heterurus Cabanis & Heine, 1860 – #RN Venezuela (E to Paria Peninsula), Trinidad, and Andes from Colombia S to NE Ecuador (to W Pastaza).
  • X. r. guayae Hellmayr, 1920 – lowlands of W Ecuador (S from Esmeraldas) and NW Peru (Tumbes, Piura).
  • X. r. peruvianus J. T. Zimmer, 1935 – Andean foothills in Ecuador (Morona-Santiago, Zamora-Chinchipe) and Peru (S to Puno).
  • X. r. purusianus Todd, 1925 – extreme E Peru, C Brazil (R Purus E to R Tapajós) and NE Bolivia (Pando).
  • X. r. connectens Chapman, 1919 – foothills from Bolivia (S from La Paz, also in extreme E & SE) S to NW Argentina (S to Tucumán).
  • X. r. chapadensis J. T. Zimmer, 1935 – E Bolivia (Beni) and SW Brazil (Rondônia and Mato Grosso E to Maranhão, Piauí and Goiás).
  • X. r. rutilus Temminck, 1821 – SE Brazil (S from Paraíba, Bahia and Minas Gerais) S to NC Paraguay and NE Argentina (Misiones, NE Corrientes).
  • Descriptive notes

    12 cm; 10–15 g. Along with X. milleri the most broadly streaked member of genus, also with short, thick, wedge-shaped bill. Nominate race has conspicuous pale... read more


    Song an ascending and then descending, high-pitched series of 5–10 dry, squeaky “swee... read more


    In Andes mainly montane evergreen forest and hilly deciduous forest, at 700–2400 m (locally... read more

    Food and feeding

    Arthropods; Coleoptera larvae recorded. Forages singly or in pairs, often to usually in mixed-species flocks, from understorey (at edge) to... read more


    Season Jan–May in Costa Rica; breeding recorded Feb–May, with eggs in May, in Trinidad. Presumably monogamous. Nest consists of... read more



    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to fairly common in most of its range. Densities estimated at 8 birds/km2 in transitional forest in SE Peru; estimated at 34/km2 in forest... read more

    Recommended citation

    Remsen, J.V., Jr (2020). Streaked Xenops (Xenops rutilus). 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 24 February 2020).