I have had a lot of difficulty in identifying this 1st spring male American Redstart. The distinctive upside down 'V' yellow shape on its wing really had me confused until this morning whenI found an illustration ( on p. 391) in my third edition copy of the National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America, that showed that yellow 'v' on its wings that had been confusing me so much. I should have gone with my first hunch, for when I came home yesterday I told my husband I had found a juvenile American Redstart. The clue that brought Redstart to my mind was its yellow tail feather spread that it exhibited and I was able to capture in some of my pictures shown below. We have had juvenile Redstarts in Bird Alley other summers and when I had seen the bird 'fan' its tail feathers :that is what I had thought; that it was a Redstart. I believe my first hunch was right. These little birds are really quick in their busy flitting about and so I had just had aimed my camera at the general area in the bushes where I had seen the Redstart. I think I was lucky to get the images I have. The yellow tail spread shown above is characteristic of a first spring male American Redstart as it 'fanned' its tail feathers.
another feature of this Redstart that I hadn't known about until reading about it in my National Geographic field guide is that this little species is that the first spring male Redstart has black lores. This little guy bird sure does have 'sooty- looking eyes!
And a first spring male Redstart will have black spotting on its breast. This little bird has one dark spot.
So, did I see a first spring male Amerian Redstart? Yes! quite definitely!
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