copyright: Eldert Groenewoud
Noticeably smaller and more compact than Spotted Flycatcher, with proportionately larger bill, 20% shorter wings (extending little beyond end of upper tail-coverts), and 25% shorter tail; close in size to Red-breasted Flycatcher but with flatter head, slightly longer wings, and slightly shorter tail and legs evident in rather dumpier, less sprite-like form. 2nd smallest flycatcher of west Palearctic, with form and appearance intermediate between Spotted Flycatcher and ) or immature Ficedula flycatchers. No striking characters except for rather large dark eye offset by off-white loral stripe and eye-ring; at close range narrow dark malar stripe and pale yellowish base to lower mandible may show. Upperparts generally grey rather than brown in tone; underparts dull white, clouded or mottled on breast and flank; at close range, wings show pale fringes in pattern like Spotted Flycatcher, with pale tips to greater coverts forming obvious wing-bar in first winter plumage.
Perched on the roof, it utters its song strongly, fluffing its breast feathers, with the head backwards in the last phrase of its song. Farther, another bird responds immediately.
Black redstart sings from a high perch, above the city noise and early in the morning. It often perches on exposed places, standing up and moving its tail nervously. It looks at the ground where it often alights to catch insects, but it also catches flying insects.
Breeds in east Palearctic middle latitudes in continental climate, largely in lowlands. Generally prefers mature deciduous trees, sometimes mixed with occasional conifers, and everywhere chooses least dense stands, with good undergrowth, near forest edge or by glades, clearings, or road verges.
Breeds in southern Siberia from Yenisey east to Transbaykalia, northern Mongolia, Ussuriland, Manchuria, Sakhalin, northern Korea, Japan, and Kuril Islands, also India. Winters in China, Philippines, Burma, Indochina, Malaysia, Sumatra, Java, Borneo, India, and Sri Lanka.
Accidental in West Germany, 1982. Denmark, 1959. Sweden, 1986. Not globally threatened.
Feeds mostly on insects. Perches on an open exposed tree branch perch, immobile and erect, until it spots prey; then flies out to catch it in flight and returns to its perch to eat. Sometimes flicks its wings while hunting
This species has a large range, with an estimated global Extent of Occurrence of 1,000,000-10,000,000 km². The global population size has not been quantified, but it is believed to be large as the species is described as ‘common’ in at least parts of its range (MacKinnon and Phillipps 1993). Global population trends have not been quantified, but the species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e. declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations). For these reasons, the species is evaluated as Least Concern. [conservation status from birdlife.org]
Four to five olive gray eggs are laid in a cup nest made of lichen, moss, and grasses and lined with finer materials. Nest is built by the female and placed on a tree branch or set in fork of a tree. Incubation ranges from 11 to 13 days and is carried out by the female. Young are fed by both sexes. These birds have one brood per year.
Varies between migratory and resident across range. Northern populations long-distance migrants, arriving on breeding grounds May to early June, departing south from mid- or late August.
- spanwidth min.: 19 cm
- spanwidth max.: 21 cm
- size min.: 11 cm
- size max.: 12 cm
- incubation min.: 0 days
- incubation max.: 0 days
- fledging min.: 0 days
- fledging max.: 0 days
- broods 1
- eggs min.: 3
- eggs max.: 4
- Conservation Status