Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis)


French: Sourciroux mélodieux German: Rostbrauenvireo Spanish: Vireón cejirrufo

Tanagra gujanensis

J. F. Gmelin

, 1789,

“Guyane” = French Guiana


May be conspecific with C. nigrirostris (which see). Recent phylogenetic study#R found deep divergences among races, suggesting several cryptic species; but, although song of ochrocephala appears to have lower maximum frequency (and a few other minor differences) compared with other races, little vocal variation apparent among taxa#R. Race flaviventris intergrades with nicaraguae in S Mexico (SW Chiapas) and with yucatanensis in Honduras. Twenty-two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • C. g. septentrionalis A. R. Phillips, 1991 – E Mexico (S Tamaulipas S to N Hidalgo).
  • C. g. flaviventris Lafresnaye, 1842 – SE Mexico (N Veracruz, N Puebla, NE Tabasco, N & W Chiapas) E to C Guatemala and N Honduras.
  • C. g. yucatanensis Ridgway, 1887 – SE Mexico (Yucatán Peninsula) and Belize S to N Honduras.
  • C. g. insularis Ridgway, 1885 – Cozumel I (off NE Yucatán Peninsula).
  • C. g. nicaraguae W. deW. Miller & Griscom, 1925 – S Mexico (C Chiapas), S Guatemala, El Salvador, S Honduras and Nicaragua.
  • C. g. subflavescens Cabanis, 1861 – Costa Rica and W Panama (E to Veraguas).
  • C. g. perrygoi Wetmore, 1950 – WC Panama on Pacific slope.
  • C. g. flavens Wetmore, 1950 – C & E Panama along Pacific coast.
  • C. g. coibae E. J. O. Hartert, 1901 – Coiba I (off SW Panama).
  • C. g. cantica Bangs, 1898 – N & C Colombia (E to Guajira and Magdalena Valley S to Huila).
  • C. g. parva Chapman, 1917 – NE & E Colombia (Norte de Santander S to Meta and Vichada) and N Venezuela (S to N Amazonas).
  • C. g. flavipectus P. L. Sclater, 1859 – NE Venezuela and Trinidad.
  • C. g. gujanensis (J. F. Gmelin, 1789) – Rufous-browed Peppershrike – SE Colombia, S Venezuela, the Guianas, E Peru, NE Bolivia (La Paz), and Brazil S to N Mato Grosso.
  • C. g. pax J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1942 – E slope of Andes in C Bolivia (La Paz).
  • C. g. dorsalis J. T. Zimmer, 1942 – highlands of C Bolivia (Cochabamba).
  • C. g. tarijae J. Bond & Meyer de Schauensee, 1942 – SE Bolivia (Tarija) and extreme NW Argentina (Jujuy).
  • C. g. virenticeps P. L. Sclater, 1860 – Western Peppershrike – W Ecuador (Esmeraldas) and NW Peru (Piura).
  • C. g. contrerasi Taczanowski, 1879 – SE Ecuador (Morona-Santiago, Zamora-Chinchipe) and N Peru (S to San Martín).
  • C. g. saturata J. T. Zimmer, 1925 – C Peru (R Marañón S to Huánuco).
  • C. g. cearensis S. F. Baird, 1866 – E Brazil (Maranhão and Ceará S to S Mato Grosso and São Paulo).
  • C. g. viridis (Vieillot, 1822) – Chaco Peppershrike – W Paraguay and N Argentina (S to La Rioja, San Luis, Córdoba and Santa Fe).
  • C. g. ochrocephala Tschudi, 1845 – Ochre-crowned Peppershrike – E Paraguay S to NE Argentina (Misiones, Corrientes, Entre Ríos, N Buenos Aires), SE Brazil (S from Minas Gerais) and Uruguay.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–16 cm; 22–35 g (flavi­pectus). Nominate race has forehead, crown and ear-coverts medium-grey, darkening on nape, narrow chestnut-brown area above... read more


    Song heard over much of year, usually delivered from concealed perch in tree canopy, a loud series... read more


    Forest, especially forest edge, also isolated trees in gardens, gallery forest, shade coffee... read more

    Food and feeding

    Omnivorous diet. Items recorded comprise mainly arthropods, including beetles (Coleoptera) and spiders (Araneae), as well as cocoons and... read more


    Nests found in Mar–Jul in Costa Rica, Jul in Panama, May in Venezuela, Jun–Sept, Nov, Jan and Feb in Trinidad, and Feb–... read more


    Probably sedentary over most of range, but extreme N populations in Mexico may move to some extent.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Generally common in numerous parts of its extensive range. Adapts well to certain kinds of modification in habitat (for instance... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D., Bonan, A. & de Juana, E. (2019). Rufous-browed Peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis). 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 19 May 2019).