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American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla


The American Redstart is a distinctive migratory warbler which breeds in North America and winters within the neotropics. While the greatest density of wintering American Redstarts is in the Greater Antilles, this species winters sparsely over a large range, including the Lesser Antilles to the east, west and north to the Mexico/California border, and south throughout northern South America. This species winters in mangrove and dry forest, where populations segregate (in the Greater Antilles), with dominant birds (mostly adult males) occupying the mangrove habitat, relegating others to the lower-quality dry forest. On mainland Central and South America, this species will also winter in wet tropical evergreen forest. This species can be seen foraging almost exclusively on insects in the canopy and sub-canopy, often flaring its tail, and moving the whole body in sideways motions to 'flash' the tail pattern. The call is a wet chip similar to a Yellow Warbler (Dendroica petechia), but is slightly drier, thinner, and more stacatto.

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© Geoffrey A. Keller

  • Year-round
  • Migration
  • Breeding
  • Non-Breeding

Recommended Citation

American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), In Neotropical Birds Online (T. S. Schulenberg, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA. retrieved from Neotropical Birds Online: