From Birding

Lifebird #36 – Butterfly Bird

Species  American Redstart / Setophaga ruticilla
Where Home, Little Canada, MN
When May 2004
Who Joann
Number 36

My first American Restart was either a female or an immature male found in our yard in May of 2004. This was only the second warbler species Joann and I had seen, and we were able to identify it using our copy of the Birds of Minnesota and Wisconsin. Mature males show orange color where females and immature males show yellow.

According to my (incomplete) records, we didn’t see another American Redstart for three years, when on an Audubon Society walk led by our friends Paul S. and Sally H. we saw several. I know that we saw a few bright males during this walk at the Carver Park Nature Preserve.

American Redstart at Lebanon Hills Regional ParkSally calls this bird the “butterly bird.” It is a hyperactive little bug eater, and the fluttering flashes of color from its wings and under its tail certainly can make it look like a butterfly, especially when seen out of the corner of an eye.

The hyperactivity of the redstart has made it a difficult bird for me to photograph. This one barely adequate snapshot was taken at Lebanon Hills Regional Park in May of 2008, probably in the company once again of Paul and Sally.

See lifebird index.