Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus)

Plain Xenops

[order] Passeriformes | [family] Furnariidae | [latin] Xenops minutus | [UK] Plain Xenops | [FR] Sittine brune | [DE] Braunbauch-Baumspaher | [ES] Picolezna Menudo | [IT] Xenope minuta | [NL] Sparmann-xenops


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range
Xenops minutus LA s Mexico through Amazonia, se SA
Xenops minutus genibarbis
Xenops minutus littoralis
Xenops minutus mexicanus
Xenops minutus minutus
Xenops minutus neglectus
Xenops minutus obsoletus
Xenops minutus olivaceus
Xenops minutus remoratus
Xenops minutus ridgwayi
Xenops minutus ruficaudus

Physical charateristics

The head is light brown with a buff supercilium and whitish malar stripe. The upperparts are brown, becoming rufous on the tail and rump, and there is a buff bar on the darker brown wings. The underparts are unstreaked pale olive brown. The sexes are similar, but young birds have dark brown throats. The lack of streaking is an obvious distinction from other xenops especially Streaked Xenops. It is also the only lowland species in the genus.

Listen to the sound of Plain Xenops

[audio: Xenops.mp3]

Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 0 cm wingspan max.: 0 cm
size min.: 11 cm size max.: 12 cm
incubation min.: 15 days incubation max.: 16 days
fledging min.: 0 days fledging max.: 0 days
broods: 0   eggs min.: 1  
      eggs max.: 3  


Found from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador, northeastern Argentina and central Brazil. In Suriname not uncommon in savannah forest and the interior.


Prefers tropical lowland forest and flooded evergreen forest.


Nest consists of plant fibres placed in a hole between 1.5 and 9 m high in a decaying tree trunk or branch. The normal clutch is two white eggs, incubated by both sexes. This species is a resident breeder in forest habitats.

Feeding habits

The Plain Xenops is often difficult to see as it forages for insects, including the larvae of wood-boring beetles, on bark, rotting stumps or bare twigs. It moves in all directions on the trunk like a treecreeper, but does not use its tail as a prop.


This species has a large range, with an estimated global extent of occurrence of 9,800,000 km2. The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘frequent’ in at least parts of its range (Stotz et al. 1996). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Plain Xenops status Least Concern


Sedentary throughout range.

Distribution map

Plain Xenops range map


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