Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Black-whiskered Vireo (Vireo altiloquus)


French: Viréo à moustaches German: Bartvireo Spanish: Vireo bigotudo

Muscicapa altiloqua


, 1808,

#R, St Thomas, Virgin Islands


See V. olivaceus. Six subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. a. barbatulus (Cabanis, 1855) – SE USA (S Florida from Pasco and Volusia Counties S to Keys), Bahamas, Cuba (including I of Pines), Little Cayman and Cayman Brac; migrates to South America (Amazon Basin).
  • V. a. altiloquus (Vieillot, 1808) – Jamaica, Hispaniola and Puerto Rico; migrates to N South America.
  • V. a. grandior (Ridgway, 1884) – Old Providence I (E of Nicaragua), in SW Caribbean.
  • V. a. canescens (Cory, 1887) – San Andrés I (E of Nicaragua), in SW Caribbean.
  • V. a. bonairensis Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1948 – Leeward Antilles (Aruba, Curaçao, Bonaire) and Margarita I (off NE Venezuela).
  • V. a. barbadensis (Ridgway, 1874) – Lesser Antilles (from St Croix S to Barbados).
  • Descriptive notes

    15–16·5 cm; 15·4–26·2 g. Nominate race has crown dull dark grey-brown, supercilium dull buffy grey, lores and eyestripe dull greyish brown,... read more


    Song a sequence of short phrases of 2 or 3 notes, lasting less than a second, with longer pauses (a... read more


    Woodland of most types, also tall undergrowth and vegetated gardens. In Florida, largely confined... read more

    Food and feeding

    Animal food mostly arthropods, including weevils (Curculionidae) and other beetles (Coleoptera), caterpillars, bees and wasps (Hymenoptera... read more


    Most studies centred on Florida population (race barbatulus). Season mostly May–Aug; eggs recorded 25th May-28th Jun in... read more


    N race barbatulus (breeding Florida, Bahamas, Cuba and Caymans) migratory, wintering in... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common; rare, and possibly extirpated on Aruba (race bonairensis). Removal of mangroves for development purposes has... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Black-whiskered Vireo (Vireo altiloquus). 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 20 April 2019).