Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Brown-capped Vireo (Vireo leucophrys)


French: Viréo à calotte brune German: Braunkappenvireo Spanish: Vireo coronipardo

Hylophilus leucophrys


, 1844,



Sometimes placed in Melodivireo (see V. philadelphicus). Often considered conspecific with V. gilvus, but differs in plumage and some vocalizations#R. N races (“amauronotus group”) have been treated as forming a separate species, but this requires substantiation. Proposed race disjunctus (Antioquia, in Colombia) included in dissors. Fourteen subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. l. eleanorae Sutton & Burleigh, 1940 – NE Mexico (SW Tamaulipas S to N Hidalgo).
  • V. l. dubius (A. R. Phillips, 1991) – EC Mexico (near Ciudad Victoria, in Tamaulipas).
  • V. l. amauronotus Salvin & Godman, 1881 – Northern Brown-capped Vireo – SE Mexico (NE Puebla E to WC Veracruz).
  • V. l. strenuus Nelson, 1900 – S Mexico (N Chiapas), and probably C Guatemala.
  • V. l. bulli J. S. Rowley, 1968 – SW Mexico (SE Oaxaca, S Chiapas).
  • V. l. palmeri (A. R. Phillips, 1991) – mountains of Honduras, possibly also N El Salvador and, rare, N Nicaragua#R.
  • V. l. costaricensis (Ridgway, 1903) – C Costa Rica (Cordillera de Tilarán).
  • V. l. chiriquensis (Bangs, 1903) – S Costa Rica and W Panama.
  • V. l. dissors J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – E Panama, and NW Colombia (W & C Andes, S on W slope to W Nariño).
  • V. l. mirandae E. J. O. Hartert, 1917 – N Colombia (Santa Marta Mts), Sierra de Perijá and NW & N Venezuela (Zulia, and Táchira E to Sucre).
  • V. l. josephae P. L. Sclater, 1859 – SW Colombia (C Andes in Nariño) and W Ecuador.
  • V. l. leucophrys (Lafresnaye, 1844) – Southern Brown-capped Vireo – E Andes from Colombia S to C Peru.
  • V. l. maranonicus J. T. Zimmer, 1941 – N Peru (both slopes of W Andes, W of R Marañón).
  • V. l. laetissimus (Todd, 1924) – SE Peru and E & C Bolivia (La Paz and Cochabamba).
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–12·5 cm; 11·3–13·4 g. Nominate race has crown dull chestnut-brown, area above lores grey-white, supercilium off-white, ear-coverts dull light brown with... read more


    Song a continuous series of warbling notes, similar to that of V. gilvus but (at least in... read more


    Humid forests, including tall second growth, shade coffee plantations, montane woodland and similar... read more

    Food and feeding

    Food includes insects and caterpillars, also some fleshy-coated seeds. Forages in canopy and outer branches of trees, sometimes hanging... read more


    Two nests with young in, respectively, mid-Jun and early Aug in Ecuador; birds in breeding condition Mar–Jul in Colombia; probably... read more


    Largely sedentary; possibly some post-breeding dispersal to lower altitudes.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Common over much of its range. Some races (e.g. strenuus) have suffered significant reduction in amount of available habitat as a result of... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Brown-capped Vireo (Vireo leucophrys). 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 18 April 2019).