American Redstart (male). Photo by Laura Gooch CC BY-NC-SA

Since I began this project, the American Redstart has stumped me over and over, to the point that if I cannot guess what bird I have recorded, I’ve learned to consider that is might be American Redstart … again. Hence, I consider it my nemesis bird. And no wonder, in Pieplow’s Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America, he notes that the American Redstart has “perhaps the most variable warbler song”. He notes that the males have one repeated (primary) song and 2-8 alternated (secondary) songtypes! No wonder I can’t nail it down easily!

Look and listen to the scrolling spectrogram of an American Redstart that I recorded on June 10, 2019 and uploaded to the Macaulay Library here. Note my uncertainty in my audio note at the end of the recording stating that it looked like an American Redstart; but unspoken is my thought, “but his song does not help me confirm the ID!” The changing songtypes however provide the tipoff that this might be American Redstart.

Below are screenshots of the spectrograms of the specific songs that appear in just the linked recording, but there are many more songs! We’ll post more another time!