Family Vireos (Vireonidae)

Least Concern

Slaty Vireo (Vireo brevipennis)


French: Viréo ardoisé German: Schiefervireo Spanish: Vireo pizarroso

Neochloe brevipennis

P. L. Sclater

, 1858,

Orizaba, Veracruz, Mexico


Has been placed by some authors in monotypic Neochloe because of its atypically rounded tail and highly distinctive plumage, quite unlike that of all other vireos; but genetic data#R suggest sister relationship with V. atricapilla. Race browni poorly differentiated, and species sometimes treated as monotypic. Two subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • V. b. brevipennis (P. L. Sclater, 1858) – C Mexico from S Jalisco and Colima E to Morelos, WC Veracruz, Puebla and C Oaxaca.
  • V. b. browni (A. H. Miller & Ray, 1944) – SW Mexico (Guerrero).
  • Descriptive notes

    11·5–12 cm; 11·8–12·3 g. Nominate race has forehead, crown and nape deep yellow-green, lores dull greyish-black, chin off-white; upperparts slaty-grey, upper­... read more


    Song, from exposed perch, a series of varied, rich, slightly burry phrases often ending with... read more


    Arid to semi-humid brushy scrub, thickets, forest edge; race browni stated to be found in... read more

    Food and feeding

    No data on diet; probably mainly arthropods. Forages in low vegetation, skulking and sluggish, while cocking tail and twitching it from... read more


    Very few nests described. Birds in breeding condition in late May, nest and eggs found in Jun, and fledgling in mid-Jul. Nest a cup made... read more


    Apparently sedentary.

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Generally uncommon. Range covers area of c. 160,000 km2, but occurs very patchily within this. Over much of its range habitat is fragmented and being... read more

    Recommended citation

    Brewer, D. (2019). Slaty Vireo (Vireo brevipennis). 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).