Family Ovenbirds (Furnariidae)

Least Concern

White-chinned Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla merula)


French: Grimpar à menton blanc German: Weißkinn-Baumsteiger Spanish: Trepatroncos barbiblanco

Dendrocolaptes Merula

M. H. C. Lichtenstein

, 1820,



Formerly included the taxon meruloides, now considered to be closer to D. fuliginosa. Races W of R Negro together with those S of R Amazon may constitute a separate species, on basis of differences in vocalizations, size and iris colour; more work needed. Seven subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • D. m. merula (M. H. C. Lichtenstein, 1820) – Northern White-chinned Woodcreeper – the Guianas and adjacent N Brazil (E of R Branco in Roraima and N Pará).
  • D. m. obidensis Todd, 1948 – Amazonian Brazil along N bank of Amazon, from R Negro E to Amapá.
  • D. m. bartletti C. Chubb, 1919 – W Amazonia and upper R Orinoco drainage, both N & S of R Solimões, from C Venezuela and C Colombia S to E Ecuador, E Peru, N Bolivia and W Amazonian Brazil (E to R Negro and R Madeira).
  • D. m. remota Todd, 1925 – E Amazonian Bolivia (N Santa Cruz), probably also adjacent Brazil (NW edge of Pantanal).
  • D. m. olivascens J. T. Zimmer, 1934 – S Amazonian Brazil S of Amazon, from R Madeira E to R Tapajós.
  • D. m. castanoptera Ridgway, 1888 – Southern White-chinned Woodcreeper – S Amazonian Brazil S of Amazon, from R Tapajós E to R Tocantins.
  • D. m. badia J. T. Zimmer, 1934 – SE Amazonian Brazil from R Tocantins E to Maranhão.
  • Descriptive notes

    16–21 cm; male 28–54 g, female 29–54 g (much of Amazonia), male average 57 g, female 49·5 g (Manaus). Geographic variation in size significant; birds from... read more


    Calls often heard near ant swarms, but songs poorly known; both vary geographically. Most frequent... read more


    Primarily humid forest, both terra firme and on floodplains; also forests on sandy soils... read more

    Food and feeding

    Diet consists largely of arthropods, but small vertebrates occasionally taken. Stomach contents from one site in N Bolivia mostly... read more


    Little known. Birds in breeding condition in Feb–May in NW Brazil, E Colombia and S Venezuela, in late Jun in NE Amazonian Brazil (... read more


    Resident. Some movement within sites; even “settled” birds move over areas 2–3 km across; the... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Locally common, but apparently uncommon over much of range. Abundance may be depressed through competition over ants by larger thamnophilids;... read more

    Recommended citation

    Marantz, C.A., Aleixo, A., Bevier, L.R. & Patten, M.A. (2020). White-chinned Woodcreeper (Dendrocincla merula). 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 February 2020).