American Redstart

Setophaga ruticilla


About the Author(s)

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Thomas W. Sherry began studying American Redstarts as an undergraduate and a master’s student at Dartmouth College (under the supervision of Dr. Richard T. Holmes). He received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1982, then returned to Post-doc at Dartmouth, becoming an active participant in the long-term ecological studies of birds in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, New Hampshire, which expanded in 1986 to winter studies of American Redstarts, Black-throated Blue Warblers, and Ovenbirds in Jamaica. Additional interests at Tulane University, where he is now the New Day Professor III and the Siegel Professor of Social Entrepreneurship as well as a Full Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, include colonial wading birds, feeding ecology, tropical bird ecology and evolution, impacts of forest loss and fragmentation on Central American birds, conservation, and climate change consequences and solutions. Current address: Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, 400 Boggs Hall, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana, 70118. E-mail:

Richard T. Holmes received a Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in 1964. His early research focused on the ecology and breeding systems of shorebirds in arctic Alaska. His interests then turned to American Redstarts and other forest passerines as part of his long-term investigations of birds as components of northern hardwood ecosystems, which have been conducted in the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains of New Hampshire since 1969. This research effort expanded in 1986, in collaboration with Thomas Sherry, to study Neotropical migrants, particularly American Redstarts and Black-throated Blue warblers, during the winter phase of their annual cycle. He is currently Research Professor of Biology, as well as the Ronald and Deborah Harris Professor of Environmental Biology Emeritus, at Dartmouth College. Current address: Department of Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, 78 College Street, Hanover, New Hampshire 03755. E-mail:

Peter Pyle received a B.S. in Biology from Swarthmore College in 1979 and has worked as both an ornithologist and marine biologist. During the late 1970s and early 1980s he partook in the Hawaii, Micronesia, and Samoa Forest Bird Surveys. Much of his research since the early 1980's was conducted on birds and white sharks at the Farallon Islands, California. He has special interest in bird molt and how it can be used to age birds, and has published numerous papers and taught workshops on this subject in North America and Latin America. He has authored two books, over 170 scientific papers, and several popular articles. He has written and edited plumage and molt content for the Birds of North America since 2007. He is a Research Associate both at the California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, and the B. P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu. In 2011 he described a new species of shearwater (Puffinus bryani) and named it after his grandfather, Edwin Bryan. He is a full-time staff biologist at the Institute for Bird Populations. Current address: P.O. Box 1346, Point Reyes Station, California 94956. E-mail:

Michael A. Patten is a professor at the University of Oklahoma, where he is affiliated with the Oklahoma Biological Survey, Department of Biology, and Environmental Studies. His research interests have focused on conservation biogeography and evolutionary ecology, particularly with respect to questions of habitat selection, from causes to consequences and from pattern to process. He has an abiding interest in systematics, especially with respect to geographic variation and how the interface between habitat, behavior, and geography affect variation from phylogeny to taxonomy. He has written and edited Systematics content for the Birds of North America since 2007, and serves as a technical advisor to both the American Ornithological Society's North American Checklist Committee, and the Howard and Moore Complete Checklist of the Birds of the World. Current address: Oklahoma Biological Survey, University of Oklahoma, 111 E. Chesapeake Street, Norman, Oklahoma 73019. E-mail:

Recommended Citation

Sherry, T. W., R. T. Holmes, P. Pyle, and M. A. Patten (2016). American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla), version 3.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, Editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, NY, USA.