Family Tyrant-flycatchers (Tyrannidae)

Least Concern

Greenish Elaenia (Myiopagis viridicata)


French: Élénie verdâtre German: Grünolivtyrann Spanish: Fiofío verdoso

Sylvia viridicata


, 1817,



Closely related to M. cotta, and sometimes considered conspecific. Considerable genetic structure interpretable as implying presence of more than one species#R. Northern races also differ vocally#R. Races accola, pallens, zuliae and restricta differ minimally, and perhaps better merged. Ten subspecies tentatively recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. v. jaliscensis Nelson, 1900 – W Mexico (S Durango and Nayarit S to Guerrero and S Oaxaca).
  • M. v. minima Nelson, 1898 – West Mexico Elaenia – Tres Marías Is, off Nayarit (Mexico).
  • M. v. placens (P. L. Sclater, 1859) – E Mexico (Tamaulipas S to Yucatán Peninsula, and Cozumel I), Belize, Caribbean slope of Guatemala and Honduras.
  • M. v. pacifica (Brodkorb, 1943) – Pacific slope from S Mexico (Chiapas) S to S Honduras.
  • M. v. accola Bangs, 1902 – Nicaragua S to NW & N Colombia and NW Venezuela (N Táchira).
  • M. v. pallens Bangs, 1902 – N & C Colombia (Santa Marta region and Cauca and Magdalena Valleys).
  • M. v. zuliae J. T. Zimmer & Phelps, Sr, 1955 – foothills of Sierra de Perijá on Colombia–Venezuela border.
  • M. v. restricta Todd, 1952 – coastal mountains and lowlands of Venezuela (E of Andes, N of Amazon Basin), also Guyana.
  • M. v. implacens (P. L. Sclater, 1862) – SW Colombia (Nariño), W Ecuador (S to Loja) and extreme NW Peru (Tumbes).
  • M. v. viridicata (Vieillot, 1817) – Greenish Elaenia – SE Peru, N & E Bolivia, C, E & SE Brazil, Paraguay, NW & NE Argentina (S to Tucumán, Formosa and Corrientes) and Uruguay#R.
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5 cm; 11·8–14 g. Male nominate race is greenish olive above, crown faintly tinged greyish, feathers slightly elongated, yellow to yellow-orange coronal... read more


    High-pitched, rather weakly slurred, buzzy or reedy, descending disyllabic call, “sleeeryip” or “... read more


    Humid tropical evergreen forest regions, but prefers lighter growth, especially near streams and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Various insects; wide variety of small berries, fruits and arillate seeds also regularly eaten. Forages singly, or as widely separated pair... read more


    Apr–Jun in Middle America, Oct–Mar in Brazil, three nests Dec–Jan in Argentina. Nest built by female, guarded by male, a... read more


    Mainly resident; some winter stragglers occur on offshore and Caribbean islands, and recorded once... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Uncommon to common; often overlooked. Occurs in many national parks and other protected areas throughout its range, from Middle America S to... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fitzpatrick, J. (2019). Greenish Elaenia (Myiopagis viridicata). 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 16 December 2019).