Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Black-billed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis nigrirostris)


French: Sourciroux à bec noir German: Schwarzschnabelvireo Spanish: Vireón piquinegro

Cyclaris [sic] nigrirostris


, 1842,

Bogotá, Colombia


May be conspecific with C. gujanensis; in recent study#R, most (not all) analyses indicate that treatment of nigrirostris as a species renders C. gujanensis paraphyletic; study in progress. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. n. nigrirostris Lafresnaye, 1842 – upper tropical and subtropical zones of Colombia W of E Andes (excluding Santa Marta region and also Nariño) and of E slope in Ecuador (S at least to C Napo).
  • C. n. atrirostris P. L. Sclater, 1887 – upper tropical zone in W Andes of S Colombia (Nariño) and S into Ecuador (S generally to Pichincha, but at least one sighting has been reported as far S as El Oro).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; 29·6–33·1 g. Nominate race has forecrown dull grey, upper lores and area above bill and above and behind eye dark chestnut, ear-coverts yellow-green;... read more


    Persistent singer. Song, usually from concealed perch in canopy, a series of loud whistles, similar... read more


    Humid and wet forest, including cloudforest and forest edge; 1600–2700 m, usually below 2400... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food apparently consists mainly or wholly of arthropods, although no specific data available. Forages in foliage and outer branches of... read more


    Birds in breeding condition in May–Jul and also in Oct in Colombian Andes. No other information.


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Considered to be generally uncommon over much of its relatively limited range. S boundaries of range in Ecuador remain uncertain: nominate race... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Black-billed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis nigrirostris). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 18 April 2019).