Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Green Shrike-vireo (Vireolanius pulchellus)


French: Smaragdan émeraude German: Smaragdvireo Spanish: Vireón esmeralda

Vireolanius pulchellus

P. L. Sclater and Salvin

, 1859,



Often treated as conspecific with V. eximius (see below). See also V. leucotis (below). Proposed race dearborni (CS Guatemala) requires substantiation; currently included in nominate. Four subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. p. ramosi A. R. Phillips, 1991 – SE Mexico (S Veracruz E to NC Chiapas and Quintana Roo, S to E Oaxaca).
  • V. p. pulchellus P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1859 – SE Mexico (SE Campeche, SW Quintana Roo), Guatemala (except C highlands), Belize and Caribbean slopes of Honduras and N Nicaragua; also locally on Pacific slope of SW Mexico (Chiapas), Guatemala and El Salvador.
  • V. p. verticalis Ridgway, 1885 – Nicaragua (on Caribbean slopes), Costa Rica and W Panama (E Veraguas).
  • V. p. viridiceps Ridgway, 1903 – C Panama (E to Panamá Province).
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5–14·5 cm; 22–30 g. Male nominate race has forehead, crown and nape deep sky-blue, with diffuse green markings on crown; rest of head, neck and upperparts... read more


    Song, delivered from ­concealed perch in forest canopy (singer very difficult to locate), a... read more


    Inhabits humid evergreen forest with tall trees, also forest edge, mostly in canopy. Sea-level to... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items mainly arthropods, but also fleshy fruits and berries. Forages mostly in canopy, also lower in forest edge. Searches... read more


    Nest-building in Mar and birds in breeding condition Mar and May in Belize; nesting recorded in May in Panama. Nest a mossy cup, placed at... read more


    Apparently entirely sedentary; territorial throughout year.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common to fairly common in Mexico and N Central America; said to be not common in Belize; locally common in Costa Rica and common but somewhat local... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2018). Green Shrike-vireo (Vireolanius pulchellus). 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).