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Species Guide
A photo of a Scrub Greenlet (Hylophilus flavipes)
Scrub Greenlet

Scrub Greenlet

Hylophilus flavipes

The scrub greenlet, also known as the scrub vireo, is a diminutive member of the vireo family, gracing the forests with its predominantly green plumage. This passerine bird, with a scientific name Hylophilus flavipes, is a sight to behold with its olive-brown head and brighter wings and rump.

Identification Tips

Adults measure a modest 11.5 cm in length and tip the scales at a mere 13 grams. Their upperparts are a verdant green, with the wings and rump displaying a more vivid hue. The head is olive-brown, adorned with a faint supercilium and a yellowish eyering. The underparts are a cheerful yellow, while the bill is dark and the legs pale. Both sexes are similarly attired, and they are often seen in pairs.


Scrub greenlets are found in the forest edges, savannas, and light woodland areas, preferring the lower elevations where the air is thick with the hum of life.


Their range extends from the southernmost reaches of Central America into the northern expanses of South America, with sightings from Costa Rica to Panama, and further afield in Colombia, Venezuela, and Tobago.


These birds are architects of the treetops, constructing deep cup nests that dangle from branches. They lay clutches of three white eggs, speckled with brown. Their populations are stable, and they are currently not at risk, hence their status as Least Concern. In their quest for sustenance, they have been known to dangle upside-down, plucking insects and spiders from the foliage. They also partake in berries, particularly before migration, and may join mixed species flocks for increased foraging efficiency and predator protection.

Song & Calls

The scrub greenlet's vocal repertoire includes a long series of weary-weary-weary notes, interspersed with churrs and squeaks, a symphony of the forest that is as distinctive as it is persistent.

Diet and Feeding

Their diet is a mix of insects, spiders, and berries, which they forage from the upper and middle levels of tree foliage. Their feeding habits are both solitary and communal, as they sometimes join mixed species flocks.

Conservation Status

The scrub greenlet is evaluated as Least Concern by the IUCN, indicating a stable population without immediate threats to its survival.

Similar Species

While there are no similar species mentioned, the scrub greenlet has seven recognized subspecies, which vary slightly in coloration and distribution, offering a delightful challenge to the discerning birdwatcher.


Breeding involves the construction of a deep cup nest where the female lays a clutch of three white, brown-marked eggs. These nests are suspended from tree branches, swaying gently in the tropical breeze.

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Scrub Greenlets on Birda

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Profile picture for Jaider Carrillo
Jaider Carrillo
18 May 2024 - 6:14pm

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