Discover the allure of the American redstart, a delightful warbler adorned with striking hues. Learn how to differentiate these feathered friends from their counterparts and get a glimpse of what female and young redstarts look like.
The male American redstart is a bird that catches the eye with its vivid and impressive colors. While several warblers have yellow feathers, the redstart’s appearance is more flamboyant and easily noticeable. The black color of the male redstart’s body is complemented by striking reddish-orange sections on its sides, wings, and tails.
The male redstarts boast a stunning orange hue that is not present in their female counterparts. Female redstarts, on the other hand, are predominantly gray with yellow or yellowish-orange highlights. Linda Petersen, hailing from Terril, Iowa, snapped a picture of a female redstart during its fall migration and captured its distinct appearance.
The appearance of young male American Redstarts closely resembles that of adult females. This is because their coloring is not very distinct and remains similar to that of females for a while, even beyond their first autumn. It is only when they reach their second summer that some black feathers start to appear, making them distinguishable from females. As the season progresses, they fully molt into their black-and-orange plumage.
Redstarts are well-known for their lively behavior as they quickly dart around the treetops. Their colorful tails, which they fan out, are a distinct feature that distinguishes them. When birdwatching near the edges of wooded areas in the east, keep an eye out for these charming creatures.
Redstarts have a reputation for steering clear of bird feeders, which sets them apart from other warblers. Nevertheless, they do enjoy taking a dip in birdbaths to hydrate themselves.
Although redstart warblers do not usually frequent bird feeders, they can often be spotted near birdbaths. These birds are a popular type of migrant warbler that typically migrates to tropical areas ranging from Florida to South America during the winter months. Throughout the summer season, they can be found breeding in the eastern and northern regions of the US and southern Canada.
Pay attention to the unique tune of the American Redstart’s song, which can differ in pitch and typically concludes with a sharp “shew.” These small creatures, adorned with eye-catching black and orange feathers, are commonly observed during their yearly spring journey.