American Redstart

Common Name: American Redstart

Class:  Aves

Order: Passeriformes

Family: Parulidae

Genus: Setophaga

Species: Setophaga ruticilla

photo Steven Pitt

 

Taxonomy/Description

 

The American Redstart male is black with bright orange patches on wings and the tail. The female is olive brown with yellow flash-patches on the wings and tail. This warbler is 12-14 centimeters and weighs 9-11 grams.

 

Habitat/Diet

 

The American Redstart can be found in moist deciduous woods with abundant shrubs. Their primary food source is insects that they will find on trees. They will also eat small berries and fruit in late summer.

 

Behavior/Reproduction

 

The American Redstart is territorial in the summer breeding season. Mainly males will fly around to proclaim their territorial boundaries. This warbler is butterfly-like and is very active. The American Redstart is active during the day. They are migratory and will winter in Mexico, the West Indies to Brazil and northern Peru.

The American Redstart is monogamous and males will attract females through song and displays. The female lays once clutch per year that consists of 3-5 eggs. Females build the nest in a cup shape out of twigs, grass, and bark and are glued together with spider silk.  The females incubate the eggs and the male will help with feeding of the young.

 

Where to see them in WNY

 

A great place to see American Redstarts is at Iroquois NWR on the Swallow Hollow trail. Take the trail to the right.  In the portion of flooded woodland, you have a great chance of seeing an American Redstart.

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