Black redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros

TAXONOMY

Phoenicurus ochruros Gmelin, 1774, Iran. OTHER COMMON NAMES

French: Rougequeue nior; German: Hausrotschwanz; Spanish: Colirrojo Tizon.

PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS

5.5 in (14 cm); 0.5-0.7 oz (13-20 g). Black head and upperparts with dark gray forehead and reddish tail. Throat is black; un-derparts are rufous. In females, plumage is brown.

DISTRIBUTION

Widespread in Europe north to Baltic Sea, Middle East, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, coast of Libya, Egypt, and Red Sea coasts, Iran, and Afghanistan.

HABITAT

Cliffs and rocky outcrops from sea level to high altitude in Alps, Pyrenees, Caucasus, and Atlas Mountains, also industrial sites, city buildings, towns, and villages with old buildings, tiled roofs, chimneys; sometimes woodland glades with rocky slopes.

BEHAVIOR

Singly or in pairs, perching on high rock or rooftop, frequently flirting reddish tail; mostly terrestrial.

FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET

Beetles, ants, grasshoppers, and other insects, many spiders, also earthworms, millipedes, and some fruit.

REPRODUCTIVE BIOLOGY

Monogamous in most cases, some males with two females; territorial; nest a loose cup of grass, on ledge in roof or outbuilding, in cavity in rocks or hole in wall or pipe; four to six eggs incubated only by female for 12-13 days; young leave nest after 12-17 days, sometimes before they can fly.

CONSERVATION STATUS

Not threatened.

SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS None known. ♦

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