Exploring the Black Redstart’s Brilliant Plumage and Entertaining Behaviour. – Pet Care Blog

Exploring the Black Redstart’s Brilliant Plumage and Entertaining Behaviour. – Pet Care Blog

A tiny resident breeding population of black redstarts exists in the UK, to which overwintering birds, passage migrants, and summer breeders contribute each year. The black redstart prefers cliff ledges, gorges, rock and scree environments. It is commonly found in urban settings, where it frequents abandoned places, old buildings, and industrial locations.

What appeals to a Black Redstart?

The dark grey upperparts with almost black upperwing patterns and the grey hat with a deep black face make up the adult male’s summer plumage. Rust red edges surround black top tail feathers. Rust red outer tail, rump, and lower belly bring out the black breast on the underparts. The secondary feathers on the wings produce a white patch that is most noticeable when the wing is closed. The bird is about the same size as a robin overall. Its legs are black, and its beak is slender and short. The adult females have black upperwings and brownish cheeks, with an overall dull mouse grey hue.Juvenile birds resemble females, although they are often darker in colour and have scaling on their faces that extends to their bellies. The black redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros, has five subspecies, some of which may be found in the UK. Each subspecies has minute variations in plumage that can make identification difficult.

How does the voice of a Black Redstart sound?

The male may be heard singing with a tentative rattling warble-like whistle of “drrr-drrr-tawidu” in addition to his brief, harsh “tuc-tuc” or “tsip” cry, which is used for alarm or aggressiveness.

What is consumed by a Black Redstart?

Invertebrates such as earwigs, ants, wasps, bees, grasshoppers, spiders, and worms are among the many invertebrates that black redstarts eat. They also eat flies, berries, and seeds of many kinds.

Where are Black Redstarts seen?

These days, they are mostly found in cities, especially on brownfield sites in the Black Country, Birmingham, and Greater London. A small number of breeding pairs may be found in Liverpool, Manchester, Nottingham, and Ipswich. Additionally, reports of sightings in power plants on England’s east and south coast have been made. These birds are drawn to sparse wasteland with plants and debris on rocky terrain, especially if there are nearby buildings, towers, or other towering abandoned structures. While sightings of birds are more common and occur throughout the country during the spring and autumn migrations, the south and southwest of England’s coastal regions are the most probable locations to observe them.

Signs to Look Out for

While adult male black redstarts may be easily distinguished from other adult male redstarts, this is not the case with youngsters or equivalent females, since they all have rather similar appearances. The position of the sitting serves as a simple identifying clue in this instance. As mentioned previously, the redstart is a forest bird that only visits the UK from March to October, but the black redstart likes urban settings such brownfield sites or industrial regions with few trees. Adult black redstarts are frequently heard and observed perched atop abandoned structures and industrial infrastructure, providing a view of their nesting area and feeding grounds.

How do Black Redstarts reproduce?

The cup-shaped nest is made of loose grass and moss and is lined with hair and feathers. It may be found in nooks and crevices in structures or cliff walls, or it can be found on the ground on stone or rock heaps. Between May and July, up to two broods, each with four to six pale blue-green eggs, may be born.

What is the lifespan of Black Redstarts?

The black redstart has a maximum lifetime of five years, yet a ringed bird has been known to live beyond eight years.

Dangers and preservation

Although the black redstart is not considered vulnerable elsewhere in the world, it is on the UK Red List for Birds, and the number of breeding pairs in the UK is thought to be less than 100.


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