Dwarf Vireo Vireo nelsoni

  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Vireonidae
  • Monotypic
  • Authors: Claudia I. Rodríguez-Flores, Carlos A. Soberanes-González, Marîa del Coro Arizmendi, Guy M. Kirwan, and Thomas S. Schulenberg


  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding
Distribution of the Dwarf Vireo
eBird range map for Dwarf Vireo

Generated from eBird observations (Year-Round, 1900-present)

Distribution in the Americas

Dwarf Vireo is restricted to southwestern Mexico. It primarily occurs in the interior, from Jalisco and southern Guerrero south to central Oaxaca (Miller et al. 1957, Howell and Webb 1995). Dwarf Vireo probably is resident throughout most of not all of its range. Phillips (1962, 1968, 1991) suggested that it nests in "low, arid breeding grounds" and then migrates to higher elevations, a supposition that has not been confirmed. Howell and Webb (1995) suggest the possibilty that northern breeders may move to the Pacific slope in winter.

The elevational range of Dwarf Vireo is 1000-2500 m (Howell and Webb 1995, Parker et al. 1996).

Dwarf Vireo first was collected in 1826 by Ferdinand Deppe, but this specimen was overlooked until Alan Phillips identified it ca 140 years later (!) (Stresemann 1954, Philips 1968). Nelson (1898) consequently was unaware of Deppe's specimen when Nelson collected the type specimen of Vireo nelsoni in 1892. Dwarf Vireo "disappeared" again until it was collected in the mid 20th century (Miller et al. 1957).

Distribution outside the Americas

Endemic to the Americas.


Dwarf Vireo occurs in arid and semi-arid scrub, often with oaks (Binford 1989, Howell and Webb 1995).

Historical changes

None reported.

Fossil history

None reported.

Recommended Citation

Rodríguez-Flores, C. I., C. A. Soberanes-González, M. d. C. Arizmendi, G. M. Kirwan, and T. S. Schulenberg (2014). Dwarf Vireo (Vireo nelsoni), version 1.0. In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/nb.dwavir1.01