Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Black-eared Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius melanotis)


French: Allotrie à gorge marron German: Zimtkehl-Würgervireo Spanish: Vireo alcaudón orejudo

Pt[eruthius]. melanotis


, 1847,

“the Terai, at base of south-eastern Himalayas”, Nepal


Race tahanensis moderately distinct in plumage, male having a duller, greener forehead (1); more restricted and paler chestnut on throat (none on breast) (2); and paler lower underparts (also in female) (1); but it is apparently weakly differentiated in voice#R. Two subspecies recognized.

What do (1) and (2) mean? Learn more about the scoring system.
Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. m. melanotis Hodgson, 1847 – Black-eared Shrike-babbler – C Nepal E to Bhutan, all NE Indian hill states, adjacent S China (SE Xizang, W & S Yunnan), W, N & SE Myanmar, NW & SW Thailand, N & C Laos and Vietnam (S to S Annam).
  • P. m. tahanensis E. J. O. Hartert, 1902 – Malay Shrike-babbler – extreme S Thailand and Peninsular Malaysia.
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–12 cm; 10–14 g. Small yellow-bellied shrike-babbler with black rear ear-coverts and grey nuchal band, male with rusty chin and throat and two white wingbars... read more


    Song a repeated, very monotonous series of notes, variable, apparently subject to some geographical... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest; in Laos also in Fokienia-dominated forest. Found in Indian... read more

    Food and feeding

    Large green grasshoppers (Orthoptera) and other insects. Found singly, in pairs or, outside breeding season, in small parties, often... read more


    Mar–Jun in Indian Subcontinent and Myanmar, and Feb–Jun in Peninsular Malaysia. Nest a flimsy-looking but strong, small cradle... read more


    Resident, with some local seasonal altitudinal movements. In NE India, reported status as a rare... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Local but frequent in C & E Nepal. Common in temperate zone and W foothills of Bhutan, and present in Thrumshingla National Park. Locally... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2018). Black-eared Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius melanotis). 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 23 March 2018).