Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Yellow-green Vireo (Vireo flavoviridis)


French: Viréo jaune-verdâtre German: Gelbflankenvireo Spanish: Vireo verdiamarillo

Vireosylva flavoviridis


, 1851,

San Juan de Nicaragua, Nicaragua


Genetic data#R suggest that this species as presently constituted may not be monophyletic; study in progress. Frequently treated as conspecific with V. olivaceus (see below), but differs morphologically and vocally, and biochemical studies suggest that the two diverged from each other c. 4.6 million years ago. Races hypoleucus#R and vanrossemi mistakenly omitted in HBW. Form perplexus may be better synonymized with nominate; proposed race insulanus (Pearl Is, in Gulf of Panama), already treated thus. Five subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. f. hypoleucus van Rossem & Hachisuka, 1937 – NW Mexico (SE Sonora S to S Sinaloa).
  • V. f. flavoviridis (Cassin, 1851) – Rio Grande Delta (S USA–NE Mexico border) and S in Mexico (from E Sonora in W and from N Coahuila#R and N Tamaulipas in E) through Central America to C Panama (including Coiba I and Pearl Is), possibly also to E Panama (Darién) and adjacent Colombia; migrates to NW South America (Colombia S to Bolivia).
  • V. f. forreri Madarász, 1885 – Tres Marías Is, off Nayarit, in W Mexico; migrates to W Amazonia.
  • V. f. perplexus (A. R. Phillips, 1991) – N Guatemala (Petén), possibly also adjacent SE Mexico; migrates to E Ecuador and E Peru.
  • V. f. vanrossemi (A. R. Phillips, 1991) – SE El Salvador.
  • Descriptive notes

    14–15 cm; 15·5–21·1 g. Nominate race has crown medium grey, narrow and often weak blackish-grey border above greyish supercilium, lores dull dark... read more


    Song a persistent series of usually disyllabic phrases, occasionally trisyllabic or monosyllabic,... read more


    Open country with scattered trees, plantations, forest edge, riparian woodland; absent from... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food items insects, including caterpillars and beetles (Coleoptera), also spiders (Araneae); fleshy arillate fruits, mistletoe berries (... read more


    Season Apr–Jul/Aug; in Costa Rica, migrants return to nesting areas (and start singing) in late Jan or early Feb, but do not begin... read more


    Wholly migratory; the only Middle American passerine that vacates breeding range entirely during... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common or abundant over much of its range. Status in E Panama (Darién) and adjacent Colombia unclear; possibly breeds in both regions, but... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. & Christie, D.A. (2019). Yellow-green Vireo (Vireo flavoviridis). 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).