Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)

Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)

The black redstart is a small robin-sized bird that has adapted to live at the heart of industrial and urban centres. Its name comes from the plumage of the male, which is grey-black in colour with a red tail. With fewer than 100 breeding pairs in the UK, the black redstart is on the amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Key ID Features:
Males are sooty grey with a dark breast and cap but lack the bold white forehead of Redstart. Unlike Redstart it has a whitish panel on the wings.
The female is all over browner than the male.
The spring male in flight shows a dark centre to it's rust-red tail.

Overview
Scientific name: Phoenicurus ochruros
Family: Chats and thrushes (Turdidae)

Where to see them:
Breeding birds occur mainly in urban areas of Greater London, Birmingham and the Black Country with a few pairs in Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Ipswich, and the odd pair at cliff sites and power stations along the south coast between Suffolk and Dorset. There is a good spring passage of black redstarts through the UK and Ireland and they can turn up anywhere, but particularly at the coast. On return passage in autumn, they can be relatively numerous in places like the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall. In winter, a small number are found from Lancashire and Lincolnshire southwards, and along the south coast.

Seen in UK:
Breeding birds and spring passage migrants arrive between March and May. Autumn passage lasts from September to November, peaking in October. Wintering birds are present between late autumn and early spring.

What they eat
Insects, spiders, worms, berries and seeds.

Text (c) RSPB, used with permission
For more information click here
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Isle of Wight
Photographer:
Tim Tapley

Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros)

The black redstart is a small robin-sized bird that has adapted to live at the heart of industrial and urban centres. Its name comes from the plumage of the male, which is grey-black in colour with a red tail. With fewer than 100 breeding pairs in the UK, the black redstart is on the amber list of Birds of Conservation Concern.

Key ID Features:
Males are sooty grey with a dark breast and cap but lack the bold white forehead of Redstart. Unlike Redstart it has a whitish panel on the wings.
The female is all over browner than the male.
The spring male in flight shows a dark centre to it's rust-red tail.

Overview
Scientific name: Phoenicurus ochruros
Family: Chats and thrushes (Turdidae)

Where to see them:
Breeding birds occur mainly in urban areas of Greater London, Birmingham and the Black Country with a few pairs in Nottingham, Liverpool, Manchester and Ipswich, and the odd pair at cliff sites and power stations along the south coast between Suffolk and Dorset. There is a good spring passage of black redstarts through the UK and Ireland and they can turn up anywhere, but particularly at the coast. On return passage in autumn, they can be relatively numerous in places like the Isles of Scilly and Cornwall. In winter, a small number are found from Lancashire and Lincolnshire southwards, and along the south coast.

Seen in UK:
Breeding birds and spring passage migrants arrive between March and May. Autumn passage lasts from September to November, peaking in October. Wintering birds are present between late autumn and early spring.

What they eat
Insects, spiders, worms, berries and seeds.

Text (c) RSPB, used with permission
For more information click here
Ref:
Date:
Location:
Isle of Wight
Photographer:
Tim Tapley