Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Black-headed Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius rufiventer)


French: Allotrie à ventre roux German: Rotbauch-Würgervireo Spanish: Vireo alcaudón ventrirrufo

Pt[eruthius]. rufiventer


, 1842,

no locality = Darjeeling, West Bengal, India


Race delacouri often synonymized#R#R but diagnostic characters, though slight, still hold, and presence of a cline is merely presumed, not established. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. r. rufiventer Blyth, 1842 – C & E Nepal E to NE India (Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Manipur), W & N Myanmar and S China (W & C Yunnan).
  • P. r. delacouri Mayr, 1941 – W Tonkin (Fan Si Pan Mts), in N Vietnam.
  • Descriptive notes

    18·5–20 cm; 32–48 g. Large shrike-babbler, male with glossy black head, wings and tail and chestnut upperparts, female with black crown and yellow-green... read more


    Song in W Myanmar a full, rather mellow, plaintive “wip-wiyu” with slightly stressed terminal... read more


    Broadleaf evergreen forest, including mature mixed moss-covered oak and mixed oak-rhododendron,... read more

    Food and feeding

    Insects, including weevils and other beetles (Coleoptea) and caterpillars. Occurs singly, in pairs or in small parties (commonly singly in... read more


    Season Apr in Bhutan. No other information.


    Resident; some possible seasonal elevational movements.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Scarce to locally frequent from C Nepal E to NE India, where present in Buxa Tiger Reserve, in West Bengal, and Eaglenest Wildlife Sanctuary, in... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Robson, C. (2019). Black-headed Shrike-babbler (Pteruthius rufiventer). 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 21 April 2019).