Family New World Warblers (Parulidae)

Least Concern

Three-striped Warbler (Basileuterus tristriatus)


French: Paruline triligne German: Dreistreifen-Waldsänger Spanish: Reinita cabecilistada
Other common names: Costa Rican Warbler (melanotis), Yungas Warbler (punctipectus)

Myiodioctes tristriatus


, 1844,

valley of Vitoc, Junín, Peru


Affinities within genus uncertain, but very close to B. trifasciatus#R. In HBW race melanotis was treated as a subspecies of present species, under the name chitrensis, but latter is a junior synonym#R; independently reviewed vocal and molecular evidence strongly suggests that this form, tacarcunae and punctipectus each represent a separate species#R#R, but plumage divergence weak, morphometric divergence absent and further work on voice of tacarcunae (known from a single recording) desirable to confirm this rearrangement. Proposed race perijanus (from Sierra de Perijá, in Venezuela) synonymized with auricularis; bessereri (accepted in HBW) with meridanus#R; and inconspicuus and canens (both accepted in HBW) with punctipectus#R. Ten subspecies currently recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • B. t. melanotis Lawrence, 1868 – Black-eared Warbler – Costa Rica and W Panama (E to Veraguas).
  • B. t. tacarcunae Chapman, 1924 – Tacarcuna Warbler – Cerro Jefe (San Blas) and vicinity of Cerro Tacarcuna, in E Panama and adjacent Colombia.
  • B. t. sanlucasensis Salaman, 2015 – Serranía de San Lucas, in NC Colombia.
  • B. t. daedalus Bangs, 1908 – W Andes and W slope of C Andes in Colombia (S from Antioquia) and Ecuador (S to Cañar).
  • B. t. auricularis Sharpe, 1885 – E Andes and E slope of C Andes in Colombia and adjacent SW Venezuela (Zulia and Táchira).
  • B. t. meridanus Sharpe, 1885 – mountains of W & NW Venezuela (Lara S to Táchira; Yaracuy E to Miranda).
  • B. t. pariae Phelps, Sr & Phelps, Jr, 1949 – Paria Peninsula (Cerro Azul and Cerro Humo), in NE Venezuela.
  • B. t. baezae Chapman, 1924 – E slope of Andes in Ecuador (S to E Chimborazo and W Morona-Santiago).
  • B. t. tristriatus (Tschudi, 1844) – Three-striped Warbler – Andes from S Ecuador (Loja and Zamora-Chinchipe) S to C Peru (Cuzco).
  • B. t. punctipectus Chapman, 1924 – Bolivian Warbler – Andes from SE Peru (Puno) S to SC Bolivia (W Santa Cruz).
  • Descriptive notes

    13 cm; 10·4–12·8 g (bessereri). Nominate race has buffy-yellow central crownstripe bordered laterally with long, broad black stripe; long... read more


    Song a mixture of agitated trills, twitters, warbles and buzzy notes (in Ecuador, at least, rising... read more


    Submontane and lower montane humid forests in subtropical zone, also forest edges and well-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Probably feeds mainly, if not entirely, on invertebrates. Food items carried to a nest in Ecuador were mostly arthropods, including... read more


    Nests with eggs in Mar–Jun in Venezuela, late Apr in Colombia and Feb–May in Ecuador; nestlings in E Peru (Manu) in Sept;... read more


    Resident. May rove widely with foraging flocks outside breeding season. Venezuelan record of single... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Fairly common to common throughout its range. No population estimates available.

    Recommended citation

    Curson, J. & de Juana, E. (2020). Three-striped Warbler (Basileuterus tristriatus). 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).