American Redstart

Parulidae (wood-warblers) in the order Passeriformes

Adult upperparts are black in the male and gray in the female. The male has bright orange patches in the tail and wings; female's patches are yellow. Underparts are white with orange patches on the sides of the breast in the male, yellow in female. Voice is varied but is usually a high series of single or double "see see see" or "seeta seeta seeta" notes, with an up-slurred or down-slurred wheezy note at the end. Call is a musical "chip." Redstarts flit among tree branches, drooping their wings, fanning their tails and leaping into the air to catch insects.

Length: 5 1/4 inches (tip of bill to tip of tail).
Habitat and conservation: 
A warbler, the American redstart is a bird of the forest edge. Nesting areas are in forest of the midwestern and northern U.S. and southern Canada. American redstarts winter from Mexico to the West Indies and northwestern South America.
Frequently sallies out from a perch like a flycatcher and captures insects on the wing.
Distribution in Missouri: 
A common transient; also a common summer resident, breeding in certain locations in Missouri.
Human connections: 
In Latin America, the redstarts are known as "mariposas," or butterflies; such a poetic name shows that people find these birds innately beautiful. Conservation efforts to protect migratory species must include all parts of the bird's range, up and down the hemisphere.