Thursday, May 7, 2015

An American Redstart "Starts" My Birding Fever

Yesterday, I went on a short woodland hike through a local nature preserve and had the immense pleasure of hearing and then seeing an American Redstart.  It's amazing how quickly I can forget the songs of a given bird when I'm not mindful. For instance, I recognized the shrill sweet notes but thought they belonged to a Black and White Warbler.  So I searched and searched for the singer--high, high up in the canopy of immensely tall hardwoods and could never catch sight.  Yet the woods were alive with this same song and so I was hopeful I would eventually catch a glimpse of the songster.

And so I did.  At first I saw a bird actively flying from one branch to another.  Chasing after this moving target, I finally "caught" him within the lenses of my binoculars: Wow!  A male American Redstart  (public domain image above provided by the National Park Service).  

Read more about the Redstart at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology (where you can also listen to audio of his song!)

Seeing a male redstart is a real delight. More delightful  is when you can catch a mated pair together. You see, where the male has "orange patches on the sides, wings, and tail," the female has sunny yellow.  Seeing them together is like sunrise and sunset--Hey! Where did I read that? Oh, yes, I wrote this same description ages ago within this same blog!  I'll check to see when and post that date for a comparison.

Till then  . . . Keep birds in your heart!

Georgia Anne Butler