Family Bulbuls (Pycnonotidae)

Least Concern

Little Greenbul (Eurillas virens)


French: Bulbul verdâtre German: Grünbülbül Spanish: Bulbul verde

Andropadus virens


, 1857,

Cape Lopez and River Muni, West Africa


Described taxon hallae, known only from single type specimen (E DRCongo), now considered a melanistic form of present species. Race amadoni originally named as poensis, but that name preoccupied by “Stelgidillas poensis” (a synonym of S. gracilirostris). Proposed race holochlorus (R Sezibwa, in Uganda) averages yellower below and slightly larger than nominate, but much individual variation and intergradation, and better merged; similarly, marwitzi (Mt Kilimanjaro, in Tanzania) poorly differentiated, merged with zombensis. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • E. v. erythroptera (Hartlaub, 1858) – Gambia E to E Nigeria (including Jos Plateau#R).
  • E. v. amadoni (Dickerman, 1997) – Bioko.
  • E. v. virens (Cassin, 1857) – W Cameroon E to extreme SE South Sudan and W Kenya, S to N Angola and S DRCongo.
  • E. v. zombensis (Shelley, 1894) – SE DRCongo, N Zambia, N & SE Malawi, SE Kenya, Tanzania (Eastern Arc Mts, also Mafia I) and CN Mozambique.
  • E. v. zanzibarica Pakenham, 1935 – Zanzibar.
  • Descriptive notes

    c. 16·5 cm; male 21–32 g, female 22–30 g. A small, uniformly plumaged greenbul, lacking any contrasts in plumage. Nominate race has head and upperparts,... read more


    Song, from well-concealed perch 2–3 m above ground, given relentlessly all day and for most... read more


    Forest of all types, including primary and secondary evergreen and semi-deciduous forest, gallery... read more

    Food and feeding

    Fruit, including berries, also many arthropods; may be largely frugivorous only seasonally. Fruits taken include those of Allophylus... read more


    Nesting recorded in Jun–Jul in Senegambia, Sept–Oct and Dec in Liberia, Feb and Apr–May in Ghana, Jan–Mar in... read more


    Resident; some local wandering, e.g. of 114 birds ringed in Gabon only one retrapped (twice, after... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Extremely common across almost all of its extensive range. Total population in Liberia thought to be at least 4,000,000 pairs. Densities vary greatly... read more

    Recommended citation

    Fishpool, L. & Tobias, J. (2020). Little Greenbul (Eurillas virens). 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 25 January 2020).