Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

Western Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae)


French: Grimpar vermiculé German: Mexiko-Bindenbaumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos barrado occidental
Other common names: Northern Barred Woodcreeper (when lumped with D. punctipectus)

Dendrocops Sancti-Thomæ


, 1852,

i. Sancti-Thomae Insula”; error = Santo Tomás, Izabal, Guatemala


Hitherto treated as conspecific with D. punctipectus and until recently also with D. certhia (which see). Race sheffleri considered a distinctive single-taxon “group” by some authors#R. Variation in both bill length and extent of pale base of lower mandible is clinal in nominate; this, combined with a typographical error, resulted in description of races nigrirostris (Costa Rica, Panama) and colombianus (W Colombia, NW Ecuador), both subsequently synonymized. Supposed variation leading to description of legtersi (Yucatán Peninsula) appears to reflect an artifact of type series. Three subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. s. sheffleri Binford, 1965 – Pacific slope of Sierra Madre del Sur in SW Mexico (Guerrero, Oaxaca).
  • D. s. sanctithomae (Lafresnaye, 1852) – Middle America and NW South America from S Mexico (C Veracruz, Yucatán Peninsula) S on Caribbean slope to Panama; locally also Pacific slope in S Mexico (one record in Chiapas), Guatemala (possibly)#R, Honduras, El Salvador and from NW Costa Rica S to Panama, N & W Colombia (Chocó region) and NW Ecuador (S to Pichincha; recorded also in NW Guayas).
  • D. s. hesperius Bangs, 1907 – Pacific-slope lowlands of SW Costa Rica (including Osa Peninsula) and adjacent W Panama.
  • Descriptive notes

    25–29 cm; male 71 g and female 83 g (sheffleri), male 53–67 g and female 54–68 g (sanctithomae, Mexico, Belize, Guatemala), male 70–... read more


    Song, given largely at dawn and dusk (intermittently also throughout day), and often from concealed... read more


    Humid forest. Primarily tall evergreen forest, but occurs less frequently in low-stature rainforest... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet mainly arthropods, but small vertebrates also taken. Preys largely on grasshoppers (Acrididae), cockroaches (Blattodea), beetles and... read more


    Season reported as May–Jul in Costa Rica, where nests with eggs found until late Jul, but perhaps as prolonged as Feb–Nov;... read more


    Probably resident; records at upper end of elevational range may reflect dispersal from lowland... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Uncommon to fairly common within humid forest to 1000 m over most of range; possibly more common than elsewhere in lowlands on... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R., Patten, M.A. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Western Barred Woodcreeper (Dendrocolaptes sanctithomae). 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 8 December 2019).