Thursday, June 10, 2010

American Redstart 2

I blogged about American Redstarts on 14 May 2010.  Here are a few new photographs of birds recently banded (and one old one) showing the difference between female and first and second-year male redstarts, and how the males, in their second year, molt into their black and orange plumage.
The flanks on the female above are flat yellow.  A first-year male's flanks, below, have an orange tint. 
During the next breeding season, second-year males begin molting into their familiar black and orange plumage.  Both the middle photo and the one below were taken in June, so some variation exists as to when this molt starts.
By the end of the second year, second year birds will look like the bird in the photo below.  By that time, however, a new batch of first year males will have hatched and will look similar to the second photo in this series.

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