Neotropical Birds logo
Version 1.0

This is a historic version of this account.  Current version

 - Plain Xenops
 - Plain Xenops (mexicanus Group)

Plain Xenops Xenops minutus

Sara Decker
Version: 1.0 — Published July 5, 2013

Sign in to see your badges


Plain Xenops is a peculiar furnariid that recalls a mixture between a tit (Paridae) and nuthatch (Sittidae) in its behavior and structure. It is the only member of the genus Xenops without significant streaking on the head, back, and underparts. Mostly brown, this species has a unique moustachial stripe wrapping around the lower auriculars, a white postocular stripe, and extensive rufous in the wings and tail. Its wedge-shaped, upturned bill is used to chisel at twigs and bark to obtain arthropod prey. It feeds by hitching along branches, often hanging or using its tail for support at odd angles. Individuals or pairs frequently associate with mixed flocks in the mid-story and canopy. This species excavates a cavity in rotten wood for its nest. Plain Xenops is distributed widely from Mexico south to eastern Brazil and northeastern Argentina.

Distribution of the Plain Xenops - Range Map
  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Plain Xenops

Recommended Citation

Decker, S. (2013). Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.plaxen1.01