Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Tawny-crowned Greenlet (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps)


French: Viréon à calotte rousse German: Fuchsscheitelvireo Spanish: Verdillo coronipardo

Hylophilus ochraceiceps

P. L. Sclater

, 1860,

Playa Vicente, Oaxaca, Mexico


Hitherto treated as conspecific with T. luteifrons (which see). Dark-eyed races rubrifrons and lutescens may represent a further species, but more study needed. Race nelsoni rather poorly differentiated, and may be merely an intergrade between adjacent races (pallidipectus and bulunensis). Nine subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. o. ochraceiceps (P. L. Sclater, 1860) – S Mexico (from S Veracruz and N Oaxaca) E, including most of Yucatán Peninsula, to N Guatemala and Belize.
  • T. o. pallidipectus (Ridgway, 1903) – N Honduras S on Caribbean slope to NW Panama (Bocas del Toro).
  • T. o. pacificus (Parkes, 1991) – Pacific slope of Costa Rica (S from Carara) and W Panama (E to W Chiriquí).
  • T. o. nelsoni (Todd, 1929) – Panama from Chiriquí E to W Darién.
  • T. o. bulunensis (E. J. O. Hartert, 1902) – E Panama (E Darién) and adjacent W Colombia S to NW Ecuador (N Pichincha).
  • T. o. ferrugineifrons (P. L. Sclater, 1862) – SE Venezuela (Amazonas, Bolívar except E) and adjacent W Guyana, SE & E Colombia (S from Meta) and E Ecuador (E of Andes), NE Peru and NW Brazil (Roraima W of R Negro, S to R Juruá and R Purus).
  • T. o. viridior (Todd, 1929) – S Peru and N Bolivia (E to Santa Cruz).
  • T. o. lutescens (E. Snethlage, 1914) – NC Brazil S of R Amazon (R Madeira E to R Xingu).
  • T. o. rubrifrons (P. L. Sclater & Salvin, 1867) – NE Brazil S of R Amazon (R Tocantins and NE Pará).
  • Descriptive notes

    9·5–12·5 cm; 8·4–13·5 g. Nominate race has crown yellow-brown, lighter and more yellowish at front (especially above bill), upperparts... read more


    Song in Belize and Mexico a high, plaintive, insect-like whining “wheee” or “swee... read more


    Undergrowth of humid evergreen or semi-deciduous forest; occasionally reported from higher strata.... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food mostly arthropods, including roaches (Blattodea), caterpillars, ants (Formicidae) and spiders (Araneae); also small fleshy fruits; two... read more


    A nest with eggs in Apr and one with young in May in Costa Rica; one (not yet with eggs) in W Panama in mid Jul, while a female collected... read more


    Probably sedentary; populations in S Veracruz (Mexico) appear to vary in abundance during course of... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). Common or fairly common in many parts of its range, but rarer in Ecuador; easily overlooked. Potentially susceptible to habitat... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Tawny-crowned Greenlet (Tunchiornis ochraceiceps). 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 21 May 2019).