AMERICAN REDSTART

AMERICAN REDSTART(Setophaga ruticilla) – (See images below)
DESCRIPTION: The American redstart is a New World or wood warbler. The breeding male has  orange spots on the tail and wings with an otherwise black plumage, except for a white belly. The female has yellow spots where the male has the orange ones, white-grey under parts and grey-green upper parts. This bird is about 14 cm (5 inches) long, with a third of this length for the tail alone.
VOICE: https://www.xeno-canto.org/species/Setophaga-ruticilla
NAME: The English name ‘Redstart’ is from Anglo-Saxon and means ‘red tail’. The genus Latin name ‘Setophaga’ means ‘to eat moths’, in reference to the bird’s diet, and the Latin species name ‘ruticilla’ also means ‘red tail’.
HABITAT: Lower parts of trees and shrubs.
DIET: Insects for the most part, also seeds and berries.
NESTING: The nest is a cup-like structure built in a tree. Usually four off-white eggs are laid, incubated by the female. Both parents feed the chicks. Nest is often parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbird.
DISTRIBUTION: The breeding range covers most of the Canadian provinces and the eastern half of the USA. It migrates mainly to Central and northern South America.
DISTRIBUTION MAP: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_redstart#/media/File:Setophaga_ruticilla_map.svg
ON PEI: The American redstart breeds on Prince Edward Island and is very common.
CONSERVATION: This bird is part of what is called the ‘coffee bird’ group, a number of species that are impacted in their wintering range by farming practices of coffee growers. Measures are now being taken to preserve the habitat of those species with more sustainable coffee growing practices while preserving profitability for the farmers.
NOTES: The flashy plumage of this warbler is apparently used by the bird to startle their prey, which they catch as they try to flee.
SIMILAR SPECIES: Baltimore Oriole
REFERENCES: https://www.borealbirds.org/bird/american-redstart
https://www.mba-aom.ca/jsp/toc.jsp (Maritimes Breeding Bird Atlas)
https://www.allaboutbirds.org/guide/American_Redstart/id
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/American_redstart
https://www.audubon.org/field-guide/bird/american-redstart
American Bird Conservancy (American Redstart)
https://nature.mdc.mo.gov/discover-nature/field-guide/american-redstart (Missouri Department of Conservation)

American redstart - Margate area - June 10, 2016 - by Chris Rice
American redstart – Margate area – June 10, 2016 – by Chris Rice
American Redstart, immature male - New Annan area, PEI - Sept. 15, 2017 - Anthony Thorne
American Redstart, immature male – New Annan area, PEI – Sept. 15, 2017 – Anthony Thorne

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