Plain xenops

Plain xenops
Xenops minutus
Photo by Mike Danzenbaker (Mike Dazenbaker’s Bird Photography)
Common name:
plain xenops (en); bico-virado-miúdo (pt); sittine brune (fr); picolezna menudo (es); braunbauch-baumspäher (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Furnariidae

The plain xenops is found from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador, northeastern Argentina and central Brazil.

These birds are 11-12,5 cm long and weigh 11-12 g.

These birds are mostly found in tropical and sub-tropical moist forests, but may also use swamp forests and dry forests. They are present from sea level up to an altitude of 1.500 m.

The pain xenops search bark, rotting stumps or bare twigs for insects and their larvae. They are known to eat wood-boring beetles, bush crickets, ants and termites.

These birds breed in January-May. They nest in holes in decaying tree trunks or branches, 1-10 m above the ground. They may use old woodpecker nests or excavate their own holes. The nest is lined with plant fibres. The female lays 2 white eggs which are incubated by both sexes for 15-17 days. The chicks are fed by both parents and fledge 13-14 days after hatching.

IUCN status – LC (Least concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and a global population estimated at 5-50 million individuals. The population trend for this species is undetermined as there is no sufficient data, but it is not believed to be threatened.

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