Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Painted Whitestart (Myioborus pictus)


French: Paruline à ailes blanches German: Rotbrust-Waldsänger Spanish: Candelita aliblanca
Other common names: Painted Redstart

Setophaga picta


, 1829,

Real de Monte, Hidalgo, Mexico


Differs significantly from congeners in many characters, including song, plumage, behaviour and migratory tendencies, and has been suggested that it may be better placed in a monotypic genus, for which the name Erythrosoma is available. Such treatment not supported by recent phylogenetic study, which did, however, indicate that it is sister-taxon to the other species in present genus. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • M. p. pictus (Swainson, 1829) – SW USA (Arizona and SW New Mexico; irregular in Texas) S to SC Mexico (Veracruz and Oaxaca); N birds migrate into S part of range.
  • M. p. guatemalae (Sharpe, 1885) – S Mexico (Chiapas) S locally to N Nicaragua.
  • Descriptive notes

    13·5 cm; 5·9–11·5 g. Distinctive parulid; frequently spreads wings and fans tail, revealing prominent white patches. Nominate race has head, throat... read more


    Song a short, rich musical warble often transcribed as "weeta weeta weeta wee",... read more


    Occurs in pine-oak (Pinus-Quercus) and pinyon-juniper (Pinus-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Feeds mainly on insects; also takes sugar water and visits feeders in S USA (Arizona); recorded as drinking sap from deciduous trees in... read more


    Season Apr to early Jul, egg-laying Apr–Jun; often double-brooded, two out of ten females rearing second brood in one Arizona study.... read more


    Resident in C & S of range. Those breeding in N are mostly short-distance migrants, most moving... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to abundant throughout most of range. Estimates of densities in Arizona vary from 0·15 birds/ha in oak-juniper woodland to 1·71 birds/... read more

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. (2020). Painted Whitestart (Myioborus pictus). 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 20 February 2020).