Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Dwarf Vireo (Vireo nelsoni)


French: Viréo nain German: Zwergvireo Spanish: Vireo enano

Vireo nelsoni

J. Bond

, 1934,

#R, Queréndaro, Michoacán, Mexico


Initially named as Vireo nanus, but that name invalid, as preoccupied. Probably most closely related to, and has been thought conspecific with, V. atricapilla. Monotypic.


SW Mexico from E Jalisco, NE Colima and S Guanajuato S in highlands to Guerrero, S Puebla and C Oaxaca.

Descriptive notes

10–11 cm; 8·1-9·4 g. Crown dark grey, sometimes with bluish-grey cast, eyering (broken over eye) and area above lores off-white (diffuse spectacled appearance);... read more


Song a rather variable series of 3 or 4 scratchy notes or a series of hurried warbling phrases;... read more


Semi-arid to arid scrubland, sometimes with oaks (Quercus), scattered thickets, streamside... read more

Food and feeding

Few data. No information on diet. Forages low down in brush; secretive.


Male on nest with eggs in mid-Jun in Guanajuato. Said to nest at low or medium level in tree or bush. No other information.


Unclear; present in some locations only in winter. Seems to move to higher elevations after... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Widespread but very local. Total range 190,000 km2. Has always been regarded as rare; for 60 years after its first description, this species was... read more

Recommended citation

Brewer, D. (2019). Dwarf Vireo (Vireo nelsoni). 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).