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Painted Redstart


IUCN Conservation Status: Least Concern

A warbler of surpassing beauty, the Painted Redstart is a specialty of the borderlands of the American Southwest. The only member of its genus that regularly occurs in the United States, it is unique among American warblers for its vocalizations and its conspicuous foraging methods.

At a GlanceHelp

Both Sexes
5.1–5.9 in
13–15 cm
8.3 in
21 cm
0.3–0.4 oz
8–11 g
Other Names
  • Paruline à ailes blanches (French)
  • Pavito aliblanco, Chipe ala blanca (Spanish)

Cool Facts

  • Like other "redstarts" in its genus, the Painted Redstart flashes its white wing patches and outer tail feathers when foraging. These action appear to flush insects that the redstart then pursues and captures.
  • Despite its common name, the Painted Redstart is not particularly closely related to the American Redstart. Members of its genus, common in the Neotropics, are sometimes known as "whitestarts" to distinguish them. The name "redstart" was taken from a European thrush that has a bold reddish tail pattern.
  • The oldest recorded Painted Redstart was a male and at least 6 years, 7 months old, when he was recaught and rereleased during banding operations in Arizona.



Riparian and arid woodlands, especially in mountains.



Mostly insects; also some tree sap, as well as sugar water, peanut butter, and suet from feeders in winter.


Nesting Facts
Clutch Size
3–7 eggs
Egg Description
White with brown speckles, especially at the larger end.
Condition at Hatching
Helpless with sparse black down.
Nest Description

A cup of coarse grasses and pine needles, located on the ground, on slopes, or rock walls.

Nest Placement



Foliage Gleaner

Gleans from leaves, trunks, and branches. Also hawks insects in the air. Actively fans its tail and wings to elicit movement by prey. Also turns body back and forth to flush insects.


status via IUCN

Least Concern

There is little information on Painted Redstart population trends. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 2 million with 22% spending part of the year in the U.S., and 87% in Mexico. The species rates a 13 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score and is not on the 2014 State of the Birds Watch List.


Range Map Help

Painted Redstart Range Map
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bird image Blue-winged Warbler by Brian Sullivan

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