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    American Redstart Candelita

    About the American Redstart

    American Redstart is a wood-warbler that is easily recognized in North America. Its name comes from its adult male’s shiny black plumage, highlighted by bright reddish-orange spots on its wings, tail, and sides. Birders often call young birds “yellow stars”, while the females and males are olive-brown with lemon-yellow patches along their sides, wings, and tail.

    The adult male American Redstart has yellow plumage, which is not the case with many other warblers in its family-like the Prothonotary and Wilson. This bird’s name, “Start,” comes from an Old English word meaning “tail”.

    An American Redstart flicks its tail like a fan and flashes bright orange or yellow patches. It is also known as candelilla in Latin America. This means “little candle”.You can also identify the American Redstart by features found in birds from different families.

    Flashy and Flycatcher like

    The American Redstart bill is short and flat. It is surrounded by whisker-like, stiff rictal bristles. These features allow the American Redstart to catch insects while flying, something it does more often than any other warbler species.Birds That Talk

    Songs and Sounds

    It can be difficult to understand the high-pitched and variable song of American Redstart. One sound sound very similar to that of a Yellow Warbler and another sounds like a Black-and-white Warbler. You might be able to tell the difference.

    Territorial Trials

    The American Redstart is territorial all year. Male redstarts are aggressive and will chase females in flight. The male will show his mate several possible nest sites within the territory, but it is the female who makes the final choice. The female constructs a cup-shaped nest from bark strips, grass, plant down, and other natural fibers.

    She then lines it with soft materials, such as fur and feathers. The nest is “glued”, using spider silk, to the forked branches of a shrub or tree. It is well hidden within the foliage. On average, the female redstart will lay three to four eggs. She then incubates them for 10 to 13 days. Both parents feed the young for several weeks before they hatch.

     The parents split

    The brood and each parent continue to feed one or two of their offspring for several more weeks until the young become independent. Redstart parents often have to rear cowbirds to feed their young. American Redstart pairs tend to be monogamous during the breeding season.

    However, copulation between the sexes is quite common, leading to nestlings of mixed paternity. Sometimes, a male redstart will mate outside its territory with another female once it has found its first mate. These polygamous males are more attentive to the first brood than to the second.

    Flashing Food

    The American Redstart is an active insectivore. It especially enjoys hopping between tree branches and leaves to find its prey. This includes moths and flies as well as beetles and spiders. The brightly-colored American Redstart “flashes” its brightly-colored wing and tail patterns, fanning its tail, and drooping its wing as it forages.

    This behavior is believed to encourage insects to fly, giving the brightly-colored warbler another nickname, “The butterfly of the bird world”. The American Redstart eats small fruits in the late summer. You might be able to attract the migrating American Redstarts by planting magnolia, serviceberry, and other native trees that provide small berries and are home to a variety of insects.

    Get involved

    The U.S. Congress and federal agencies, such as U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, have policies that affect migratory birds. The U.S. Congress and federal agencies, such as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have huge impacts on migratory bird populations. These rules can be changed by you.

    Tell lawmakers to prioritize birds and bird habitats as well as adopt bird-friendly measures. Visit ABC’s Action Center to get started. A bird-friendly lifestyle can make a difference in the lives of migratory birds throughout the United States. It is as simple as planting native plants in your garden and avoiding pesticides.

     Visit our Bird-Friendly Life

    American Bird Conservancy and our Migratory Bird Joint Venture partner have made conservation management more efficient on over 6.4 million acres of U.S. bird habitat, an area that is larger than Maryland’s state. This has been done for ten years.

     We have also established more than 100 priority bird habitat areas across the Americas with the support of international partners. This helps to ensure birds’ needs are met at all stages of their lives. These are huge undertakings that require the support of many.

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