Late Migrant Warbler

October 28, 2016

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Bill Maynard, a botanist and former high school biology teacher, has worked for various government agencies from Alaska to South Florida and for The American Birding Association. He discovered the 87,000 acre Chico Basin Ranch to be the perfect natural laboratory to study and photograph birds, dragonflies, grasshoppers and other insects. Chico Basin Ranch Natural History Resources : BIRDING CHECKLIST // BIRDING MAP // DRAGONFLY & DAMSELFLY CHECKLIST //

In spite of the name American Redstart, this species is only reddish on adult spring males, the females and young males have yellow, not red. It is one of our more common, migrant, non-breeding warblers. In October, most, but not all warblers have migrated south so seeing this young male redstart at HQ was a treat.  The name comes from a corruption of the Old German name, rothstert meaning “red tail” but the European bird for which our redstart is named is not related to this species. Coupled with the fact that only males have the red-orange in its tail and you might begin to wonder if this is a good name for this species. In Cuba this species is named “candelitta” or in English “Little Torch” perhaps a better name for this species.  The small black mark on its face combined with the yellow base of its secondaries is an indication it is an immature male.