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Olivaceous Woodcreeper - BirdForum Opus

Subspecies sylviellus
Photo © by Aracari
Itatiaia National Park, Brazil, April 2006
Sittasomus griseicapillus


13–19·5 cm (5-7¾ in)

  • Greyish-olive head, upper back and underparts
  • Pale rufous wings, tail and lower back
  • Short thin bill


Central and South America
Central America: found in Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, Panama, Tobago
South America: Colombia, Venezuela, Guyana, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay and Argentina


Subspecies aequatorialis
Photo © by Stanley Jones
Buenaventura Reserve, El Oro Province, Ecuador, November 2014

It is the only member of the genus Sittasomus, but the taxon includes several vocally and morphologically distinct forms, so this species may be split in the future.


Subspecies transitivus
Photo © by Xyko Paludo
Rio dos Cedros, SC, Brazil, June 2018

15 subspecies are recognized[1]:

  • S. g. jaliscensis: Mexico (Nayarit and San Luis Potosí to Isthmus of Tehuantepec)
  • S. g. sylvioides: Southern Mexico to north-western Colombia
  • S. g. gracileus: South-eastern Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) northern Belize and adjacent northern Guatemala
  • S. g.s perijanus: North-eastern Colombia and extreme north-western Venezuela (Sierra de Perijá)
  • S. g. tachirensis: Northern Colombia and western Venezuela (south-western Táchira)
  • S. g. griseus: Eastern Andes and coastal ranges of northern Venezuela; Tobago
  • S. g. aequatorialis: Western Ecuador (western Esmeraldas) to extreme north-western Peru (Tumbes)
  • S. g. amazonus: Tropical eastern Colombia, Ecuador, Peru and Amazonian Brazil
  • S. g. axillaris: Tropical south-eastern Venezuela to Guianas and extreme northern Brazil
  • S. g. transitivus: South-eastern Amazonian Brazil to north-eastern Mato Grosso
  • S. g. viridis: Amazonian Bolivia (La Paz, Beni, Cochabamba and Santa Cruz)
  • S. g. griseicapillus: Western Brazil to Paraguay, northern Argentina and southern Bolivia
  • S. g. reiseri: North-eastern Brazil (Maranhão and Piauí to northern Goiás and western Bahia)
  • S. g. olivaceus: Coastal eastern Brazil (south-eastern Bahia)
  • S. g. sylviellus: South-eastern Brazil to north-eastern Argentina, south-eastern Paraguay and north-eastern Uruguay


A variety of wooded habitat, including tropical cloud forest. Observed at heights around 800 m.



The nest is lined with dead leaves and placed in a natural tree hole (not an old woodpecker hole). The clutch consists of 3 white eggs. Usually, only one parent tends the young.


The diet consists mostly of insects and arthropods. Occasionally plant matter is consumed too. They normally forage alone on tree trunks and large branches; sometimes on the ground.


Call: a fast, high-pitched trill wu-wu-wu-we-we-we-we-ee-ee-ee-ee-we-we-we-we.


  1. Clements, J. F., T. S. Schulenberg, M. J. Iliff, D. Roberson, T. A. Fredericks, B. L. Sullivan, and C. L. Wood. 2017. The eBird/Clements checklist of birds of the world: v2017, with updates to August 2017. Downloaded from http://www.birds.cornell.edu/clementschecklist/download/
  2. Bodrati et al. 2012. Ornithologia Neotropical 23(3):325-334
  3. Avibase
  4. Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive (retrieved March 2015 & June 2017)
  5. Wikipedia

Recommended Citation

External Links

GSearch checked for 2020 platform.