A male American Redstart’s song can attract attention from potential mates, but his plumage matters to females as well. When a female American Redstart is selecting a mate, colorful males are more desirable than duller males. In addition to the offspring a male will raise with his mate, brighter males may also sire young with extra-pair females.

This video accompanies Chapter 4, Feathers and Plumages, Handbook of Bird Biology, 3rd Edition from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Wiley Publishing.

Recorded by
Timothy Barksdale, Macaulay Library