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American Redstart Changing into Fall Plumage

Posted on Jul 17, 2017

Many of our migratory birds are on their second or third brood for the season already and slowly are starting to prepare for their journey south. Most flashy warblers molt out of their brightly colored breeding plumage in the next few weeks and will start migration once all flight feathers are grown in to the point that they can safely sustain their long journey. Although we have not quite reached Roger Tory Peterson’s notorious “Confusing Fall Warblers” level of alternate plumage yet, the first signs are here. Even though this male American Redstart still displays its characteristic black and orange plumage, much of its tail is missing and new tail feathers are growing in. Whether we like it or not, signs of fall are slowly creeping closer…

American Redstart photographed by Twan Leenders