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5 Facts About Xenops

Last Reviewed and Updated on July 8, 2022

Xenops is a type of bird that lives in central Africa. They’re known for their strong beaks, which they use to probe into the tree bark looking for insects and grubs, similar to woodpeckers. Read through some of the facts about xenops birds and get to know them a little better.

1. There are 3 species of xenops

The 3 species of xenops are;

  • Slender-billed xenops (Xenops tenuirostris). This species lives in Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
  • Plain xenops (Xenops minutes). These are found from southern Mexico south to western Ecuador, northeastern Argentina and central Brazil.
  • Streaked xenops (Xenops rutilans) – these can be found from Costa Rica and Trinidad south to Bolivia and northern Argentina.

Females and males of these species look very much alike.

2. This bird lives in Mexico, Central America, and South America

You won’t find these birds in the wild anywhere else. None of the species are endangered.

3. Xenops are songbirds

This means their vocal organs are developed in such a way that they are capable of producing diverse and elaborate bird songs. What’s more, if you listen to a species of a songbird you will recognize repeated melodies. Pretty cool!

4. Similarly to woodpeckers, they probe the bark for insects

This is one of the coolest facts about xenops birds. These little birds hammer through decaying branches, rotting stumps, or twigs in order to get to and grab the insects and their larvae (the wood-boring beetle larvae for example). If you like woodpeckers this is another bird to add to your favorites.

The streaked xenops also catch flying termites mid-air. Crafty little birds.

5. Great Xenops aren’t actually xenops

The species Great Xenops’s name might mislead you. It is a bird that does look much like xenops birds but it is not a true xenops. Compared to xenopses it is larger and has warmer feather colors.

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