Description/Habitat:The American Redstart can be found in a variety of different woodland habitats including evergreen, mixed, and deciduous woodlands, especially near water. They are particularly common in New England and the Appalachian Mountains. The five inch male American Redstart is jet black with patches of orange or salmon on its wings and tail. It has a white belly. Juvenile and immature redstarts resemble females with dull yellow bodies and bright yellow or salmon wing and tail patches. Immatures are particularly common in fall, and may show up in urban or suburban areas. I once a saw an immature redstart foraging through some bushes outside the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C. in fall.
Range/Diet: The American Redstart is one of America’s most common warblers. Found throughout the eastern United States, midwest, and parts of the Rocky Mountain west, the American Redstart is also one of the most widespread warblers. Redstarts eat insects.I saw my first American Redstart as a camp counselor near Augusta, Maine. It was late spring, and the woods were filled with the songs of warblers, vireos, and thrushes. While most of the songsters foraged well out of my visual range, the American Redstarts, with their stunning combinations of jet black, orange, and white, were my constant companions. Darting from branches after insects, flitting through saplings with wings flashing, and generally never staying still, the redstarts lit up the evergreens and birches like giant, unreachable, diurnal fireflies.
Some studies have shown that populations of American Redstarts have declined in recent years. Nest parasitism and habitat destruction in tropical wintering grounds may be to blame.
American Redstart Video