Family Vireos (Vireonidae)


Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla)


French: Viréo à tête noire German: Schwarzkopfvireo Spanish: Vireo cabecinegro

Vireo atricapilla


, 1852,

Devil’s River, near Sonora, Sutton County, Texas, USA


May be sister to V. brevipennis (which see); has been thought to be conspecific with V. nelsoni. Monotypic.


S USA from W Oklahoma S to Texas and in N Mexico (Coahuila S to S Nuevo León and SW Tamaulipas#R); migrates to Pacific slope of Mexico (mainly S Sinaloa and W Durango S to Oaxaca#R).

Descriptive notes

11–11·5 cm; 8–10 g. Male has forehead, crown, nape, ear-coverts and malar region black, lores and broad eyering white; upperparts dull-olive green,... read more


Only male sings. Several different song types: primary song a series of hurried harsh, emphatic... read more


Low, dry scrubland with various species of oak (Quercus), juniper (Juniperus),... read more

Food and feeding

Food predominantly arthropods. During breeding season butterflies and moths and their larvae (Lepidoptera), beetles (Coleoptera),... read more


Laying early Apr in Texas (later in C Edwards Plateau), late Apr or early May in Oklahoma, and season Apr–Aug in N Mexico; sometimes... read more


Migratory. Winters on Pacific slope of W Mexico from S Sinaloa and extreme W Durango through... read more

Status and conservation

VULNERABLE. Local and uncommon. Rapid population declines through contracting range. Historical breeding range stretched from C Kansas S through C Oklahoma, and C Texas S to... read more

Recommended citation

Brewer, D. (2019). Black-capped Vireo (Vireo atricapilla). 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 22 April 2019).