Whitestarts are New World warblers in the genus Myioborus. The English name refers to the white outer tail feathers which are a prominent feature of the members of this genus ("start" is an archaic word for "tail"). The species in this genus are also often called "redstarts".
The stronghold of the whitestarts is northern South America, although a few species range along the Andes as far south as north-western Argentina, while others range north through Central America and as far north as the United States, in the case of the painted whitestart. Most species are restricted to mountain forest and woodland. The ancestral Myioborus warblers, together with those in the genus Basileuterus seem to have colonised South America early, perhaps before it was linked to the northern continent, and these two genera provide most of the resident warbler species of that region.
The whitestarts are resident in mountain (including tepui) forest, woodland and shrub, where they feed on insects, sometimes as part of a mixed-species feeding flock.