Age-specific differences in habitat selection by the American Redstart

TitleAge-specific differences in habitat selection by the American Redstart
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1974
AuthorsHowe HF
JournalThe Auk

The American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) is unusual among parulids because males retain immature plumage until after the first breeding season. On the basis of this character, age-specific differences in habitat occupation have been reported. In 1969 I sampled some redstart habitats near Pellston, Michigan. The age-specific differences I found in the habitats were not the same preferences the Fickens noted. The present report may be a useful step toward describing the habitats redstarts use across their entire range as a species. Taken together, the present report and the Fickens' study document in part the diversity of habitats used by first-year and adult male redstarts in different regions. If, as the Fickens have reported, adult males exclude first-year males from "optimal" habitats, comparative study of the species' ecology in different geographical regions should yield a clearer definition of the "optimal" habitat than now exists.