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The American Redstart is smallish warbler. It measures 11 to 14 cm (4.3 to 5.5 in) in total length, has a wingspan of 16 to 23 cm (6.3 to 9.1 in) and weighs 6.7 to 12 cm (2.6 to 4.7 in). Among standard measurements, the wing chord is 5.5 to 6.9 cm (2.2 to 2.7 in), the tail is 4.9 to 5.8 cm (1.9 to 2.3 in), the bill is 0.7 to 0.9 cm (0.28 to 0.35 in) and the tarsus is 1.5 to 1.9 cm (0.59 to 0.75 in). The breeding males are unmistakable, jet black above apart from large orange-red patches on their wings and tails. Their breast sides are also orange, with the rest of their underparts colored white. In their other plumages, American Redstarts display green in their upperparts, along with black central tails and grey heads
They breed in North America, across southern Canada and the eastern USA. These birds are migratory, wintering in Central America, the West Indies, and northern South America (in Venezuela they are called "candelitas"). They are very rare vagrants to western Europe. During the breeding season, this warbler inhabits open-canopy, mostly deciduous forests, second growth, and forest edge across much of the United States and southern Canada.