Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Brown-capped Whitestart (Myioborus brunniceps)


French: Paruline basanée German: Braunkappen-Waldsänger Spanish: Candelita coronicastaña
Other common names: Brown-capped Redstart

Setophaga brunniceps

d’Orbigny and Lafresnaye

, 1837,

Yungas, Bolivia


Formerly considered conspecific with M. castaneocapilla, but the two differ in their songs and are widely separated geographically; treatment as separate species supported by recent phylogenetic study, which suggested that close plumage similarities between the two may be due to retention of ancestral traits, rather than to genetic similarity, as M. castaneocapilla is sister to M. cardonai#R. Monotypic.


C Bolivia (La Paz) S on E slope of Andes to NC Argentina (La Rioja); also Sierras de Córdoba (C Argentina), SE of main range.

Descriptive notes

13 cm; 8·5–11 g. Has grey head with rufous crown patch, white eye-crescents and weaker whitish supraloral stripe; upperparts grey, distinct olive patch on mantle... read more


Song a fast, high-pitched and sibilant trill on one pitch; quite different from that of other... read more


Submontane and montane forest, forest edges and clearings, mostly at 1400–3200 m, but to 3800... read more

Food and feeding

Feeds on insects and presumably other arthropods including small spiders and larvae. Forages mainly by gleaning actively at low to middle... read more


Dependent young seen in Jan–Feb in S Bolivia (Tarija); season starts Sept–Oct and finishes Dec–Jan in NW Argentina.... read more


Altitudinal migrant in at least S part of range, making post-breeding descent to lower levels, with... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Generally common throughout its range; may be less common in Bolivia than in Argentina. No population estimates available. Currently extending its... read more

Recommended citation

Curson, J. & Kirwan, G.M. (2019). Brown-capped Whitestart (Myioborus brunniceps). 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 November 2019).