What’s interesting about American redstarts?
September 16, 2019 12:28 PM Subscribe
They’re very pretty. But that’s not all. They’re a great example of how much scientists have learned about birds and how many questions remain unanswered. There’s a lot of information in the chemical composition and color of those pretty feathers. Their bright wing and tail patterns seem to be useful for startling and flushing insects. Studies in other species indicate it’s an effective technique. First-year males have coloration more like females. Why? Maybe to cut down on attacks from older males. Or maybe not. Like most birds, redstarts are socially monogamous and sexually promiscuous, with about 40% of nestlings fathered by a bird outside the pair. Why do birds want multiple partners? A lot of thought and research has gone into answering that question.
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