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Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus

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The Slate-throated Redstart is the most widespread species in the genus Myioborus, also known as the “whitestarts” as their tail is largely white. It is found from northern Mexico south to northern Bolivia, always in temperate montane habitats. In the north it lives in Pine-Oak forests, farther south in cloud forests and moist montane slopes. It is a species which shows a high degree of geographic variation. In fact this largely grayish-blue bird with a dark chestnut cap has a striking red belly in the north, and in South America it is yellow-bellied, with orange-bellied forms in-between. A rather large twelve subspecies have been described for this warbler. Genetic data suggests that there are at least three groups (perhaps species?), one in Mexico north of the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, another in Central America, and another in South America including easternmost Panama. More sampling is needed to flesh out these patterns, and certainly work on geographic variation in vocalizations is needed as well to determine of there are potential behavioral barriers to interbreeding in these forms with different belly colors.

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© L. Irby Davis

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  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-breeding

Recommended Citation

Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: https://neotropical.birds.cornell.edu/Species-Account/nb/species/sltred