The American Redstart is 12 cm long and weighs 8.5 g. 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 upper-parts, along with black central tails and grey heads. The orange patches of the breeding males are replaced by yellow in the plumages of the females and young birds. Their song is a series of musical see notes. Their call is a soft chip.