American Redstarts have been present at the Fox River Sanctuary in Waukesha Wisconsin for the last couple of weeks. The American Redstart is a warbler species that some birders are not aware of. One of the most active warblers, it always amazes me how they fly so fast through the trees and brush in 2’s never hitting a thing! I have put together a few images of both the males and females. Images were taken May 13-18, 2014.
Binomial name: Setophaga ruticilla
Size: 5.25” long, 7.75” wingspan
Weight: 0.29 oz.
Habitat: Breeding habitat, deciduous, second growth woodlands with moisture. Habitat can include alder and willow thickets, shrubs, treefall areas situated with old growth forests. They will also use thickets in orchards in fencerows. Breeding range is eastern US, northern parts of the west, well into Canada, winters in parts of Central and South America.
Diet: Insects by flushing by fanning their tail and flashing their wings. They do this from the ground to near the top of the canopy catching insects off limbs, leaves and branches. In fall they may eat berries or fruit that are small.
Nesting: The male shows the female possible nest sites during early courtship and the female tests them out and finally settles on one. It is located on a main trunk of a tree or shrub in a camouflaged location. The female builds her own nest in 3-7 days. The nest is constructed of tightly woven bark strips, feathers, animal and milkweed hairs, lichens, twigs, pine needles, rootlets, leaves and sometimes wasp nest paper material. It is cup shaped 2”-3” wide, 2”-1.5” deep. Typically 2-5 eggs are laid and incubated for 10-13 days by the female.