About us: We own the Wild Birds Unlimited nature shop in East Lansing, Michigan,
a store that provides a wide variety of supplies to help you enjoy the birdwatching hobby.

This blog was created to answer frequently asked questions & to share nature stories and photographs.
To contribute, email me at bloubird@gmail.com.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Warbler that looks like a female goldfinch

Photo via Weeks Bay Foundation
One warbler that visits my yard consistently every spring and fall on their way to nesting or wintering grounds is the American Redstart. The females are a similar size and coloration of a female American Goldfinch but then they spread their tail and ta da! The American Redstart has a distinctive habit of bouncing around in pursuit of insects, fanning their tail back and forth, and revealing two distinct bright yellow spots.

They are one of the most numerous warblers in North America, because their favored habitat is second-growth woodlands. Females and young males are gray-olive with yellow patches on each wing, on the sides of its breast, and at the base of its tail on either side. The males are black where the female is gray and orange where the female is yellow.
Male American Redstart photo via Wikimedia Commons

They like shrubby areas often near water. And you can see them pass through your yard in September to early October as they migrate to their winter home in Central America, the West Indies, and northern South America and then again in May when they migrate back to southern Canada and the eastern USA to nest.

Their supercharged pursuit of insects in the trees and flashing wing and tail patches give the birds the nickname “candelita” or “little candle” in their Central American wintering grounds.

Related Articles: 
Provide a safe habitat to encourage migrating birds http://provide-safe-habitat.html
Birds of Michigan Field Guide http://bit.ly/oW0XCD
Blue-headed Vireo's peak migration http://blue-headed-vireos.html
Wagging Warbler http://wagging-warbler.html
Black-and-yellow Warbler http://black-and-yellow-warbler.html
Nashville Warbler not from Tennessee http://nashville-warbler.html 
Bay-breasted warbler pictures http://bay-breasted-warbler.html 

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