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The Plain Xenops (Xenops minutus) is a small, solitary rain forest bird. It is found from southern Mexico down to northern Argentina at altitudes from sea level up to 5,000 feet. Xenops roosts in tree holes and has a fast, sharp-sounding song. There are other species of Xenops.

Anatomy: The Plain Xenops is about 5 inches (12.5 cm) long. Unlike other types of Xenops, its back is deep brown and unstreaked. The wing and tail feathers are mostly cinnamon-colored. There is a pale stripe above and behind the eyes. Its underbelly is olive-colored and it has gray legs. The bill is dark, short, and pointed.

Diet: Xenops eats insects (especially ants) and their larvae. It gets its food by hammering open decaying branches with its bill; it then eats the insects that inhabit the wood.

Eggs and Nests: The Xenops' nest is a hole in a decaying tree that is lined with grass and other plant material. Both parents help to construct the nest. Females lay 2 glossy-white eggs in each clutch (a set of eggs laid at one time). Both parents incubate the eggs, which hatch in about 16 days.

Classification: Kingdom Animalia (animals), Class Aves (birds), Order Passeriformes, Family Furnariidae, Genus Xenops, Species X. minutus.

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