American Redstart

Like many other birds, the American Redstart gets its name from the male’s plumage. Specifically the red (more like flame orange) on its tail feathers. Like many New World species, Europeans named the American Redstart because of its resemblance to the redstarts they were familiar with from the Old World (Common Redstart, Black Redstart and Moussier’s Redstart for example), which also have red tail feathers. The American Redstart however, is not related to their distant name sakes and the name is somewhat confusing, because only the adult males have red tail feathers. Females and immature birds have yellow in their tails! Birders therefore, have nicknamed them “Yellowstarts.” Male and female Old World redstarts both have red tails in case you were wondering. Here is a “Yellowstart” I found at Tom Brown Park yesterday.

redstart


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