American Redstart

American Redstart

Identification

This warbler wears a striking orange and black color combination (male) with a contrasting white underside. Females are muted gray on their heads, backs and wings, with olive-brown and yellow patches on their wings and undersides of their wings. Look for these active birds to be flying acrobatically high up in the treetops, especially in trees with budding leaves. The Peterson Field Guide to Birds of North America describes them as “butterfly-like, with drooping wings and spread tail.”

Habitat and Nesting

The American Redstart is one of just a few warbler species to stay in the Twin Cities Metro Area to breed in the summer. They prefer large, unbroken spans of forest lands. They migrate to Mexico, Central America and South America.

The female redstart builds a cup-shape nest for their single brood. 3-5 brownish-white eggs incubate for 12 days before hatching. Nestlings fledge in just 9 days; both parents feed them.

Diet

Like other warblers, American Redstarts are insect eaters, but will also eat seeds and sometimes berries. You may see them come to birdbaths (so keep them filled!).