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Narrow-billed Woodcreeper - BirdForum Opus

Photo © by luisrock62
Puerto Madero, Buenos Aires, Argentina, April 2005
Lepidocolaptes angustirostris


18-22cm. A slim, medium-sized woodcreeper.

  • Long, slim slightly decurved bill
  • Bold buffy-white supercilium extending well beyond broad blackish postocular stripe, ending in a series of broken spots
  • Blackish-brown crown and nape with whitish-buff streaks
  • Rufous-brown upperparts
  • Rufous-chestnut rump, wings and tail
  • Unmarked whitish throat and cheeks
  • Buffy-white rest of underparts, feathers with dusky edges giving a indistinctively spotted or streaked appearance
  • Pale grey to pinkish-horn bill, base of upper mandible with dusky sides

Sexes similar. Juveniles are darker above and more blackish on head.


Some subspecies such as bahiae lacks stripes on the breast


Subspecies bahiae; notice plain breast
Photo © by Rodrigo Conte
Brasilia, Brazil, May 17 2014

Widely distributed in southeastern South America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Suriname, and Uruguay.
Fairly common to locally common in most of its range.


Eight subspecies recognized:

  • L. a. griseiceps in Suriname
  • L. a. coronatus in northeast Brazil (Maranhão and Piauí to Goiás and northwest Bahia)
  • L. a. bahiae in northeast Brazil (Piauí, Ceará and interior Bahia)
  • L. a. bivittatus in eastern Bolivia and on the Brazilian plateau
  • L. a. hellmayri in Andean foothills of Bolivia (Cochabamba, Santa Cruz and Tarija)
  • L. a. certhiolus in central Bolivia, chaco of western Paraguay and northwestern Argentina
  • L. a. angustirostris from eastern Paraguay to southwest Brazil and northern Argentina
  • L. a. praedatus in western Uruguay to northern and central Argentina and extreme southern Brazil

The proposed races dabbenei and chacoensis are usually included in praedatus, immaculatus is synonymized with bivittatus.


Dry forests and dry savanna. Often in forest islands, Chaco woodland, gallery forest, second growth and plantations.
Occurs in tropical lowlands up to 1200m, in Bolivia up to 3000m.


Feeds on insects, spiders and other invertebrates. One record of a small frog taken.
Forages while hitching up trunks and branches from near base to subcanopy or higher, often with spiralling motion.
Usually seen singly, in pairs or in mixed-species flocks.
Breeding season differs through range. The nest is placed in a natural tree hole, an old woodpecker hole or a cavity in a man-made structure (bridge support, cement column, etc). Lays 3 to 4 eggs.
A resident species.


  1. Del Hoyo, J, A Elliot, and D Christie, eds. 2003. Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 8: Broadbills to Tapaculos. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. ISBN 978-8487334504
  2. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, B.L. Sullivan, C. L. Wood, and D. Roberson. 2012. The eBird/Clements Checklist of Birds of the World. 6th ed., with updates to October 2012. Ithaca: Cornell Univ. Press. ISBN 978-0801445019. Spreadsheet available at http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/downloadable-clements-checklist

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