|C. g. ochrocephala feeding on a larva in São Paulo, Brazil|
The rufous-browed peppershrike (Cyclarhis gujanensis) is a passerine bird in the vireo family. It is widespread and often common in woodland, forest edge, and cultivation with some tall trees from Mexico and Trinidad south to Argentina and Uruguay.
The adult rufous-browed peppershrike is approximately 15 cm (5.9 in) long and weighs 28 g (0.99 oz). It is bull-headed with a thick, somewhat shrike-like bill, which typically is blackish below and pinkish-grey above. The head is grey with a strong rufous eyebrow. The crown is often tinged with brown. The upperparts are green, and the yellow throat and breast shade into a white belly. The subspecies ochrocephala from the south-eastern part of its range has a shorter rufous eyebrow and a brown-tinged crown, while the subspecies virenticeps, contrerasi and saturata from north-western Peru and western Ecuador have greenish-yellow (not grey, as in the "typical" subspecies) nape, auriculars and cheeks.
The song is a whistled phrase with the rhythm "Do you wash every week?", but there are extensive variations depending on both individual and range. It is often heard but hard to see as it feeds on insects and spiders high in the foliage, though it has been observed to take small lizards as well.
The nest is a flimsy cup high in a tree with a typical clutch of two or three pinkish-white eggs lightly blotched with brown. Like most vireos, the peppershrike ejects parasitic cowbird eggs.
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A bird on its nest, 10 m above a stream near El Copey de Dota, Costa Rica, illustrating how cryptic the nests can be.
- BirdLife International (2012). "Cyclarhis gujanensis". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013.
- Delgado-V., Carlos A.; Brooks, Daniel M. (2003). "Unusual vertebrate prey taken by Neotropical birds" (PDF). Ornitología Colombiana. 1: 63–65.
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- BirdLife species factsheet for Cyclarhis gujanensis
- "Cyclarhis gujanensis". Avibase.
- "Rufous-browed peppershrike media". Internet Bird Collection.
- Rufous-browed peppershrike photo gallery at VIREO (Drexel University)
- Rufous-browed peppershrike species account at NeotropicalBirds (Cornell University)