Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Mangrove Vireo (Vireo pallens)


French: Viréo des mangroves German: Mangrovevireo Spanish: Vireo de manglar

Vireo pallens


, 1863,

Realejo, Nicaragua


Probably closest to V. griseus, and sometimes considered conspecific. Two or three full species may be involved, one consisting of Pacific-coast races (“pallens group”, members of which are monomorphic), another of Caribbean races (“semiflavus group”, members of which exhibit distinct grey and yellow plumage morphs, and distinct vocalizations, although our own analysis does not seem to confirm this#R), and single-taxon “approximans group” (two plumage morphs). Form approximans has sometimes been included in V. crassirostris, but recent studies#R suggest it is better placed with present species or considered a distinct species; more study required. Proposed race olsoni (Turneffe Is, off Belize) treated as a synonym of salvini. Ten subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. p. paluster R. T. Moore, 1938 – W Mexico (SW Sonora S on coast to Nayarit).
  • V. p. ochraceus Salvin, 1863 – S Mexico (S Oaxaca) S along coast to Guatemala and W El Salvador (Puerto El Triunfo).
  • V. p. pallens Salvin, 1863 – Mangrove Vireo – S Honduras, W Nicaragua and NW Costa Rica.
  • V. p. nicoyensis Parkes, 1990 – Gulf of Nicoya, in W Costa Rica.
  • V. p. salvini van Rossem, 1934 – SE Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) and N Belize (including Turneffe Is).
  • V. p. semiflavus Salvin, 1863 – Mayan Vireo – Caribbean lowlands of N Guatemala, S Belize, N Honduras and E Nicaragua (Bluefields).
  • V. p. wetmorei A. R. Phillips, 1991 – El Cayo, in Bahía de Amatique (N of Puerto Barrios), off extreme E Guatemala.
  • V. p. angulensis Parkes, 1990 – Bay Is (off N Honduras).
  • V. p. browningi A. R. Phillips, 1991 – SE Nicaragua.
  • V. p. approximans Ridgway, 1884 – Providence Vireo – Old Providence I (E of Nicaragua).
  • Descriptive notes

    11–12 cm; 8·9-13 cm. Nominate race has area above lores buffy or lemon-buff, upperparts dull greenish-brown; flight-feathers dull dark grey, primaries and secondaries... read more


    Song quite varied, in Costa Rica a harsh, loud, grating "jee-wee-wee-wee" or a burry... read more


    Notable difference between Pacific and Caribbean populations. Former found exclusively in mangroves... read more

    Food and feeding

    Prey items include spiders (Araneae), small beetles (Coleoptera) and leafhoppers (Cicadellidae); also takes considerable amounts of fruit... read more


    Three nests recorded, all in Apr–Jun in Belize. Apparently only one (of race semiflavus) described in detail, a deep, thick-... read more


    Apparently sedentary; territories held throughout year in Yucatán Peninsula.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common in suitable habitat.

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Mangrove Vireo (Vireo pallens). 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 24 April 2019).