This wood-warbler flycatches more than any other member in the family and has especially long rictal bristles around the mouth to aid them. They are widely distributed and are found throughout the boreal, parkland and foothill regions as well as the Cypress Hills. They breed from west central B.C. to the Atlantic Coast and winter in Central America, northern South America and the West Indies.
This species occupies a variety of habitats from mature deciduous and mixed woods to cleared secondary growth and riverine vegetation. Redstarts come through Alberta in mid-May towards their breeding grounds and leave around mid-August. They can be seen in southern Alberta reliably during migration, and are generally more easily encountered in the fall.
Redstarts mainly flycatch for insects but also glean the foliage and can often be seen spreading their tail feathers to flash the orange lights. They have been observed using all levels of the canopy in their feeding habits.
The cup nest is placed in the crotch of a branch at 2-8meters in a tree or sapling. Grass, bark, and spider web hold then nest together and feathers, hair and soft grasses are used as a lining. 4 eggs are incubated for 12 days and the young fledge in 8-9 days.
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Where to find American Redstarts in Alberta
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