How To Identify One Of North America’s Most Distinctive, Equally Stunning Birds!!


Discover the stunning American redstart, a distinctively colorful warbler. Learn how to identify these birds and get a glimpse of female and juvenile appearances.

How to Identify the American Redstart

The male American redstart stands out with its bold colors. While bright yellow plumage is common among warblers, the vibrant redstart is easily recognizable. Males are mostly black, adorned with rich reddish-orange patches on their sides, wings, and tails.


"American Redstart (female)" by ShenandoahNPS is marked with Public Domain Mark 1.0.

The females lack the orange colors seen in males. They are predominantly gray and yellow or yellowish-orange.

Linda Petersen of Terril, Iowa, captured an image of a female redstart during fall migration, showcasing their appearance.

"American Redstart (juvenile male)|Ahakhav Tribal Reserve | 2013-10-15at14-11-163" by Bettina Arrigoni is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Even in their young stage, male American Redstarts bear a resemblance to adult females.


Their coloring remains subtle, similar to females, even beyond their first fall. It is only in their second summer that a few black feathers start appearing, differentiating them from females. However, the males molt into their full black-and-orange plumage later in the season.

"Female American Redstart in flight 05-14-2014 016" by Richard Hurd is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Redstarts are known for their active behavior as they flit through trees. They often fan out their brightly colored tails, a distinctive behavior that aids in their identification.


When birding on the edges of eastern forests, keep an eye out for redstarts.

"american redstart" by don r faulkner is licensed under CC BY-SA 2.0.

"American redstart" của don r faulkner được cấp phép theo CC BY-SA 2.0.

Although redstarts typically do not visit bird feeders like most warblers, they readily come to drink water from birdbaths.

"Female American Redstart in flight 05-14-2014 016" by Richard Hurd is licensed under CC BY 2.



These warblers are unlikely to visit bird feeders, but they may frequent birdbaths. As one of the most common migrant warblers, redstarts spend their winters in the tropics, ranging from Florida to South America. They breed during the summer in the eastern and northern United States, as well as throughout southern Canada.

Photo courtesy of Guatemala-0628 – American Red Start / CC BY-SA 2.0American Redstart Song: Keep an ear out for the American Redstart's variable song, often concluding with a sharp "shew.


" These small black and orange birds are commonly observed during spring migration.

"American Redstart (m)" by Becky Matsubara is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Listen to this bird right here:

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