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Brown-capped Vireo is widespread in the Andes, and is distributed more patchily in Middle America. Throughout its range, the species occurs in tall humid forest and old second growth, as well as shade plantations and other well-wooded areas. Some of the 13 widely recognized subspecies (two more are usually considered synonyms) possess a chestnut-brown crown, which contrasts reasonably obviously with the remainder of the olive brown upperparts, and with the pale supercilium; the underparts of this vireo are grayish, becoming lemon yellow posteriorly. The taxonomy of Brown-capped Vireo is somewhat complex and demands closer resolution. In the past it was sometimes considered conspecific with the Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) of North America, while those populations of Brown-capped Vireo found between northeast Mexico and Honduras also have been suggested to represent a third species.