SPECIES

Slate-throated Redstart Myioborus miniatus Scientific name definitions

William D. Harrod and Ronald L. Mumme
Version: 2.0 — Published July 29, 2022

Behavior

Introduction

Slate-throated Redstart is an active forager, noted for its prominent flush-pursuit foraging displays; it hops and flits through foliage or over trunks and along branches, often with an erect, spread tail that reveals the contrasting white patches in the outer rectrices (1). The animated foraging display helps to flush insects that are then captured in intricate aerial pursuits or, less often, gleaned from bark or foliage (see Diet and Foraging). It frequents treefall gaps and forest edges and often is tolerant of human disturbance.

Locomotion

Walking, Running, Hopping, Climbing, etc.

When foraging, it actively hops through vegetation, along branches, and occasionally on the ground (1).

Flight

It is agile and acrobatic in flight when pursuing flying insects; see Diet and Foraging.

Self-Maintenance

Information needed.

Agonistic Behavior

Territorial Behavior

Both males and females aggressively defend their territories against conspecific intruders. Both sexes sing and respond to song playback, but males generally respond much more vigorously (RLM, unpublished data; see Sounds and Vocal Behavior).

Sexual Behavior

Mating System and Operational Sex Ratio

Generally socially monogamous with biparental care of nestlings and fledglings (see Breeding). During five years of study of a color-banded population in Monteverde, Costa Rica, only one case of probable polygyny was observed (RLM, unpublished data).

Extra-Pair Mating Behavior/Paternity

Extra-pair paternity, which occurs frequently in Parulidae that breed in North America, has not been investigated in Slate-throated Redstart. However, a female Slate-throated Redstart that nested in Arizona in 2016 apparently was socially paired with a conspecific male but nonetheless produced three hybrid offspring sired by a male Painted Redstart (Myioborus pictus) (26).

Social and Interspecific Behavior

Degree of Sociality

Usually in pairs throughout year.

Nonpredatory Interspecific Interactions

Often accompanies mixed-species foraging flocks (see Diet and Foraging). In areas where it is syntopic with other species of Myioborus, Slate-throated Redstart can show weak interspecific aggression (35, 45, 5, 46). Within northeastern Ecuador, there exists a narrow elevational zone of sympatry between Slate-throated Redstart and the congeneric Spectacled Redstart (Myioborus melanocephalus). While they occupy the same region, the two species prefer slightly different microhabitats, with Slate-throated Redstart primarily feeding in dense high-humidity forests and Spectacled Redstart preferring drier, more open areas. The two species also differ in the height at which they feed; Slate-throated Redstart primarily feeds in the canopy while Spectacled Redstart feeds in lower shrubs and bushes (46).

Predation

No information on predation on adults is available. See Demography and Populations for information on nest predation.

Response to Predators

Females often produce distraction displays when flushed from nest (5).

Recommended Citation

Harrod, W. D. and R. L. Mumme (2022). Slate-throated Redstart (Myioborus miniatus), version 2.0. In Birds of the World (S. M. Billerman, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. https://doi.org/10.2173/bow.sltred.02