Birds – The redstart

Birds – The redstart

The redstart

The redstart male

In this article we will see: “The redstart “, birds, diverse and captivating, grace our skies with their melodies. From vibrant plumage to impressive flights, they captivate with endless wonders.

Birds – The redstart

Brief Background

The redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) is a small bird species found in Europe and parts of Asia. It measures about 13.5 cm in length, with a wingspan of 71-82 mm. The male has a bluish-gray upper body, brown wings, a black head with a white forehead, reddish-brown chest and sides, a white belly, and a reddish tail. Its beak, eyes, and legs are black. The female has a pale brown head and mantle, whitish throat and belly, and a yellowish-brown chest.

Appearance and Behaviour

With its lively and agile appearance, quick movements, autumnal reddish tail, and black head adorned with a white patch, the redstart is easily recognizable. It can be seen perched on a stake or watching from a low branch, displaying confidence while keeping its distance. It possesses a graceful and elegant demeanor, thanks to the harmonious blend of its colors and proportions. The redstart can be found in gardens, parks, house surroundings, orchards, hedgerows, sparse groves, and ruins.

The redstart

The redstart female

The redstart's voice sample

Reproduction of: The redstart

Upon their return from migration in April, male redstarts establish their territories by singing and vocalizing. A week later, the females arrive and decide whether to accept the males’ invitations. While the male determines the site, the female constructs the nest, with the male providing symbolic assistance. 

Redstarts have a preference for cavities and often nest in tree holes, crevices in stone walls, tool sheds, lofts, and specially placed nest boxes. The female builds the nest with moss, grass, dry leaves, feathers, and horsehair. In the first half of May, she lays 6 or 7 pale turquoise-blue eggs with an average size of 14 x 19 mm and a weight of 2 g. The female incubates the eggs for 12 to 14 days, starting from the last egg laid.

The redstart's eggs

The redstart’s eggs

The young are fed by the adults and leave the nest approximately two weeks after hatching. They become independent 15 to 21 days later, while some couples may initiate a second clutch.

Migration of: The redstart

During August and especially September, the redstarts embark on their migration from their breeding grounds in Europe to Africa, ranging from Mediterranean shores to the equator.

Distribution of: The redstart

The redstart can be found throughout Europe, from Gibraltar to Scandinavia, extending eastward to Asia Minor and Siberia. It is absent in Ireland.

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A final word

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