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Painted Redstart Near San Diego, California

Margaret M. Thornburgh
Publication Information
Journal: 
Condor
Volume: 
55
Issue: 
6 (November-December)
Section: 
From Field and Study
Year: 
1953
Pages: 
318

Painted Redstart near San Diego, California.-A Painted Redstart (Setophaga pi&a) stayed near our hilltop residence near San Diego, California, for four days in September of 1951. Our location is about twelve miles east of downtown San Diego and the elevation is 750 feet. The redstart remained on the east side of the hill protected from the sea breezes which strike the west and north slopes. The east side also provides fruit trees and some dense foliage, while only eucalyptus grows on the other sides.

The redstart was first seen on September 22 on the ground near a loquat tree, and a few minutes later it flew into a large fig tree nearby. It was extremely “tame,” flying to different parts of the tree, often perching within six feet of us.

During the four days, the redstart could almost always be located in or near the fig tree. Whether it was feeding on the fruit or the attracted insects, we could not tell. It sometimes perched in the open in the adjacent palo Verde or large sapote tree. Its behavior was bold, although on the last two days, after several visitors had come to observe it, it kept at a greater distance.

On September 25 it came to the birdbath and bathed vigorously, ducking its head under water and plowing along for a few steps. Frightened away by a Brown Towhee, the redstart retired temporarily about fifteen feet away and perched in the sapote. When the towhee left and two House Finches came to the birdbath, the redstart drove them away and finished a lengthy bath.

As far as I can determine there are only four published records for the Painted Redstart in California, and there is no previous record for San Diego County. (See Grinnell and Miller, Pac. Coast Avif. No. 27, 1944:420; Rett, Condor, 54, 1952:115.)-MARGARET. THORNBURGH, Spring Valley, California, May 20, 1953. 

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