Passeriforme Order – Parulidae Family
Length : 11-13 cm
Wingspan : 16-19 cm
Weight : 6-9 g
LONGIVITY: Up to 10 years
American redstart is a small song bird.
PROTECTION / THREATS / STATUS:
American redstart declines in some areas, but still widespread and abundant because its favoured habitat, second growth woodlands, covers such extensive areas of the continent.
American redstart declines from nest parasitism and habitat destruction in tropical wintering grounds.
Fr: Paruline flamboyante
All : Schnäpperwaldsänger
Esp : Chipe Rey Americano
Ital : Codirosso americano
Nd : Amerikaanse Roodstaart
Russe : Американская горихвостка
Sd : Rödstjärtsskogssångare
Photographs by Bob Moul
His website : Nature Photography
Photographs by Tom Merigan
His website : Tom Merigan’s Photo Galleries
Photographs by Tom Grey
His website : Tom Grey's Bird Pictures
Text by Nicole Bouglouan
A GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF MEXICO AND NORTHERN CENTRAL AMERICA by Steve N. G. Howell, Sophie Webb - Oxford University Press - ISBN: 0198540124
FIELD GUIDE TO THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA by National Geographic Society - National Geographic Society - ISBN: 0792274512
THE HANDBOOK OF BIRD IDENTIFICATION FOR EUROPE AND THE WESTERN PALEARCTIC by Mark Beaman, Steve Madge - C.Helm - ISBN: 0713639601
Adult male has head, breast and upperparts black throughout year. Tail, wings and breast side patches are orange. Belly is white. It has a small thin bill and blackish legs. The adult male doesn’t achieve its adult plumage until its second year.
Other plumages are much less striking, consisting of greyish olive upperparts, greyish head, and whitish underparts, but yellow or pale orangey patch on side of breast, and yellow wing and tail patches are distinctive and make confusion very unlikely.
Female and young male have grey head and back, and yellow instead of orange patches.
Tail shows large patches of colour at base, with a broad dark tip and dark central feathers, making a T shape.
VOICE: SOUNDS BY XENO-CANTO
American redstart’s calls include a thin, clear “tzit” and a hard clicking “chick” or “tsip”. Song is variable; usually a high lisping “tsee-tsee-tsee-tsee-sir”, with the last note down-slurred, but also has a version with up-slurred last note.
American redstart breeds in fairly open deciduous and mixed forests (especially second growth), woodland edges, groves and thickets.
American redstart breeds from south-eastern Alaska to Newfoundland, southward to Utah, Louisiana and Georgia.
It winters in Mexico, Central America and Caribbean, to northern South America. Also some populations live in southern Florida, Texas and California.
American redstart moves rapidly to forage. It flits and flycatches within canopy of thickets and trees, often briefly hovering to expose striking tail pattern, or perching with wings slightly drooped and tail cocked, and partly fanned. It has a distinctive habit of drooping down suddenly in pursuit of a flying insect. It’s constantly on the move, often hopping along a branch swinging whole body from one side to the other side in a zigzag fashion.
American redstart occasionally is polygamous, having two mates at the same time. Each female has a territory up to 500 metres. Male starts to attract a second mate after the first has completed her clutch and is incubating the eggs.
American redstart flits and hovers within canopy to catch insects. It moves rapidly, chasing the prey acrobatically through the air to capture it.
American redstart’s nest is built only by female. It’s fitted into branches or fork in tree or shrub. The nest may be placed from 2 to 15 or more feet above the ground. It’s a tightly woven open cup, made of grasses, bark strips, hair, leaves, twigs or mosses, glued together with spider silk. It is often lined with bright coloured feathers.
Female lays 1 to 5 eggs. They are creamy white, speckled with dark around large end. Incubation lasts about 11 days by female. Male feeds her while she incubates the eggs. Young are fed by both parents, and leave the nest at about 9 days old. Chicks hatch helpless and with tufts of down. They don’t breed successfully until they are two years old.
American redstart feeds mostly on insects, both flying (leafhoppers, planthoppers, flies, wasps, beetles, moths and caterpillars), and spiders, and some small fruits and seeds.