American redstart (Setophaga ruticilla ) - local seasonal appearance

Based on 5 observations in Seymour township, Northumberland county, southeast Ontario, 1998-May 2014.

The American redstart is a readily-identified North American wood warbler. That said, we have just 5 observations in our immediate area, from 24 May to 06 July and 20 August. It is a well-travelled little bird, which we have seen in southeast Cuba in January, and at Current Lake, north of Thunder Bay, in July. Typical locales in southern Ontario include Point Pelee, Rondeau Park, Toronto Island and Prince Edward Point.

View the complete 16-year (1998-2014) monthly data summary (416-kb pdf file).

At Presqu'ile provincial park, roughly 40 km to the south, the redstart is a common spring migrant in mid- to late-May, and in fall from late August to early October (LaForest, 1993, pp.326-327). Pairs nest in deciduous forest areas in the park, especially those with a thick understory. In Peterborough county, to the northwest, the redstart is recorded between 15 April and 9 October (Sadler, 1983, p.139).

The redstart is widespread in south and central Ontario (Cadman et al., 1987, pp.400-401). In the revised Bird Breeding Atlas (Cadman et al., 2007, pp.504-505) the redstart has retained its numbers, and typically starts nesting in mid-May.


Cadman,MD, Eagles,PFJ and Helleiner,FM (1987) Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario. Federation of Ontario Naturalists and Long Point Bird Observatory, published by University of Waterloo Press, 617pp.

Cadman,MD, Sutherland,DA, Beck,GG, Lepage,D and Couturier,AR (editors) (2007) Atlas of the Breeding Birds of Ontario, 2001-2005. Bird Studies Canada, Environment Canada, Ontario Field Ornithologists, Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and Ontario Nature, 706pp.

LaForest,SM (1993) Birds of Presqu'ile Provincial Park. Friends of Presqu'ile Park / Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 436pp.

Sadler,D (1983) Our Heritage of Birds: Peterborough County in the Kawarthas. Peterborough Field Naturalists / Orchid Press, Peterborough, ON, 192pp.

Graham Wilson, posted 31 May 2014

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