Common Name:American Redstart
Photo: Steven Pitt
American Redstarts are in the order Passeriformes and the family
Parulidae which means they are perching birds in the family of
New World Warblers. 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. Both males and females have a white belly. First
year immature males looks much like the female. This warbler is 12-14 centimeters and weighs 9-11
Redstart can be found in moist deciduous woods with abundant shrubs
and they will often be seen in habitats that are near water.
They also like open second-growth woodlands.
American Redstarts breed in most of the United States and Canada,
but are not common on the West Coast. They are migratory and will
winter in Mexico, the West Indies to Brazil and northern Peru. Their primary food source is insects that they will find on trees
which include flies, wasps, beetles, caterpillars and adult moths.
They will also eat small berries and fruit as they become available in late summer.
They forage from the forest floor to the canopy and will capture
insects from trunks and leaves of trees and also on the wing.
Photo: M. Noonan
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 very active
especially during the day. American
Redstarts are monogamous and males will attract females through song
and displays. Males may fluff their feathers, bow to the female and
follow her around his territory. 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.
Photo: M. Noonan