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 American Redstart

Status in Michigan
Common Transient summer resident

Early Spring Date

Late Fall Date
Note: Early and Late Dates are being researched.
Image Credits
Count totals in the NMB Databases for American Redstart.

Use the links below to view the American Redstart reports in the respective databases.
If there are zero sightings for a particular season, that database will return no results.

Active Database - Spring 2005
View American Redstart sightings.
American Redstart Archives Reports
Fall 2003 67
Spring 2003 137
Winter 02-03 0
Fall 2002 72
Summer 2002 40
Spring 2002 163
Winter 01-02 0
Fall 2001 69
Summer 2001 99
Spring 2001 62
Winter 00-01 0
Fall 2000 56
Summer 2000 20
Spring 2000 137
Winter 00-99 0
Fall 1999 83
Spring/Summer 1999 19

NMB Database
Seasonal Percentage Graph
For: American Redstart

Whitefish Point Bird Observatory
Active Database - Fall 2003
View Fall 2003 sightings.
Whitefish Point Bird Observatory Official Seasonal Count Summaries for the American Redstart
Fall 1999-Spring 2002
American Redstart
Note: Some species will not be present in the WPBO archives and will return no records.

Search "The Birds of Michigan" text.

Home - Foreword - Preface - Introduction - Hypothetical List - Literature Cited

Historical Text

Setophaga ruticilla (Linnaeus)
American Redstart

Common summer resident.

First authoritatively listed for Michigan by Sager (1839: 413).

SPRING.-The Redstart appears in the southern tiers of counties in the first week of May and reaches the Upper Peninsula by the middle of the month.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Toledo-Erie marsh area, L. "W. Campbell (1940: 208) has noted main flight by the end of the first week in May. Jerome Trombley (Barrows, 1912: 651) recorded the Redstart as early as April 23 and 24 at Petersburg, Monroe County; and Swales observed it in the Detroit area regularly in the first week in May, recording 30 on May 4, 1912, and 6 on May 5, 1912. N. A. Wood (1922: 31) found the species in Berrien County on May 6; in Hartland Township, Livingston County, R. E. Olsen and A. D. Tinker saw 50 Redstarts on May 19, and 40 on May 26 (1935). G. A. Ammann observed one at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, on May 8, 1940; on Sand Point, Huron County, D. W. Douglass recorded individuals in early May (1931 to 1933) and greater numbers after the middle of the month. Three specimens (M.C.Z.) were secured by Jonathan Dwight and William Brewster at Oden, Emmet County, between May 18 and 21 in 1888.

Upper Peninsula.-Bryens at McMillan, Luce County, and Christofferson at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, have generally recorded the Redstart after the middle of May, but Bryens noted 1 on May 8, 1938, and Christofferson 2 on May 12,1940. N. A. Wood recorded arrival at Copper Harbor, Keweenaw County (1933: 731) on May 27, and in 1930 collected 2 specimens (U.M.M.Z.) on Isle Royale: 1 on May 22 and the other on May 27.

SUMMER.-The nesting period of the Redstart extends chiefly from the last of May to early July.

Lower Peninsula.-In the Detroit area, J. Claire "Wood (19046; 33-35) occasionally found eggs by mid-May; in 1899 Swales found 21 nests (17 with 4 eggs) in the area on May 28. N. A. Wood (1922 : 31) listed the species as breeding in Berrien County; he found a nest with 4 fresh eggs near Ann Arbor, May 20, 1904; in 1934, R. E. Olsen, A. D. Tinker, and T. D. Hinshaw noted over 20 Redstarts a day in Hartland Township, Livingston County, on June 3, 8, and 12. A nest under construction was observed on May 26, 1940, at the Prairie Farm, Alicia, Saginaw County, by G. A. Ammann; in Huron County the species was found to be the most common breeding warbler by N. A. Wood and Gaige (1911: 304) ; and on Charity Island adults and young were seen daily during July by N. A. Wood (1912a: 187). The species was reported as breeding in Mason County by Chaney (1910: 278) and in Charlevoix County by Van Tyne (1925: 626). Blanchard and Nelson (MS of 1937) recorded nests with young in the vicinity of Douglas Lake, Cheboygan County, from June 23 to August 5.

Upper Peninsula.-Redstarts have been observed during the summer in Chippewa County, as many as 20 a day being noted on Drummond Island by T. D. Hinshaw and R. A. MacMullan in 1938, and the species was seen in the vicinity of Whitefish Point by N. A. Wood (1914: 71-72). Christofferson found a nest with 4 eggs at Blaney, Schoolcraft County, on June 13, 1933, and N. A. Wood (1918: 14) occasionally noted Redstarts at Whitefish Lake, Alger County. F. M. Gaige (1914: 89) recorded this warbler through- out July at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, and S. S. Gregory, Jr. (1929:186) , listed it as a common summer resident in the Huron Mountains, Marquette County. N. A. Wood, Peet, and McCreary (1906: 120) observed the species frequently in the Porcupine Mountains, Ontonagon County, during July. Peet (1909: 379) recorded a young bird being fed by an adult on August 3 on Isle Royale.

FALL.-Pall flight occurs in the north in late August or early September, and in the south in late September.

Upper Peninsula.-Max M. Peet (1909o; 117) recorded the species on Isle Royale until September 12; John L. George and R, L. Patterson noted 10 to 20 Redstarts daily near Golden Lake, Iron County, between August 24 and 27, 1938. F. M. Gaige (1914: 89) observed "numerous flocks" in the early part of August at Brown Lake, Dickinson County, and they were still common on his departure, August 24. A. D. Tinker and R. E. Olsen saw a total of 11 Redstarts between August 24 and 28, 1931, at Whitefish Point, Chippewa County, and Fargo noted 4 there on September 6, 1925. At Blaney, Schoolcraft County, Christofferson has recorded the species in late August and occasionally in early September (2 seen on September 10, 1934, and 2 on September 14, 2023).

Lower Peninsula.-Max M. Peet collected several Redstarts at Burt Lake, Cheboygan County, in late August and September (one on September 9, 1940; another on September 12, 2023). On Charity Island, Huron County, N. A. Wood (1911: 109) recorded numbers on September 4 and hundreds on October 5, but saw none at all there after October 5. Gibbs (1885: 55) found individuals in Kalamazoo County until the latter part of September; near South Haven, Van Buren County, Leonard Wing recorded 10 on September 16, 1931, and one or two others on September 17 and 18. Several specimens (U.M.M.Z.) have been taken in Washtenaw County during September : 2 were collected on September 8, 1896, by N. A. Wood and W. A. MacLean; and 1 was taken on September 12, 1896, by E. A. Atkins. The largest numbers of Redstarts recorded by Swales in the Detroit area were in the first week of September (20 on September 2, 10 on September 4, and 6 on September 10) in 1911. Both Swales and J. Claire Wood had noted the species there in October, Swales on October 5, 1895, and Wood (1907: 329) on October 7, 1906. Trautman saw 15 in the Erie marsh, Monroe County, on September 9, 1934, and in this and the adjacent Toledo (Ohio) area, L. W. Campbell (1940: 195) has observed Redstarts regularly until early October.

Mueseum of Zoology, University of Michigan, No. 75
The Birds of Michigan
By: Norman A. Wood
University of Michigan Press
August 28, 2023

Digitized by: Keith F. Saylor
[email protected]

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