This woodcreeper is found in mountains from 1000 m to the timberline in mossy, epiphyte-laden forest and adjacent semi-open woodland and clearings. It builds a leaf-lined nest 0.6 to 8 m up in a tree cavity or old woodpecker or barbet hole, and lays two white eggs.
The spot-crowned woodcreeper is typically 21.5 cm long, and weighs 35 g. It has a spotted crown, olive brown upperparts with fine streaking on the upper back, a chestnut rump, wings and tail, and heavily streaked olive-brown underparts. The bill is slender and decurved. Young birds are duller with less distinct streaking and crown spots.
The spot-crowned woodcreeper is very similar to streak-headed woodcreeper, Lepidocolaptes souleyetii, but is larger, has a spotted crown, and is the only woodcreeper found at high altitudes.
The call is a squeaky deeik and the song is a trill and rattle deeeeeeah hihihihihi.
- Stiles and Skutch, A guide to the birds of Costa Rica ISBN 0-8014-9600-4