|[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note|
|Black Redstart, Lellig, Luxembourg.|
Those redstars have built their nest in the corner between the wall and an iron carrier of the terrace at my girlfriends house. To take this shot I installed a camouflage net in a window with good view on the place and mounted the camera on the tripod using the full 400mm. At the beginning the feeding parents were a bit suspicious, then they returned. Unfortunately the place where the nest is built is quite dark, so that I had to use iso 1000 an still only was ata speed of 1/15 sec.
I plan to returnd and retry with a flash setting, allowing better quality, faster shutter speed and a f. of 8.
The black redstart is small passerine bird that was formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family (Turdidae), but is now more generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher (Muscicapidae).
It is a widespread breeder in south and central Europe, but very localised in Great Britain. It is resident in the milder parts of its range, but northern birds winter in southern Europe or north Africa. It nests in crevices or holes in buildings.
The Black Redstart is 13-14.5cm in length. The male has no chestnut on the flanks nor white on the forehead. The female is greyer than the Common Redstart, and at any age the grey axillaries and under wing-coverts are distinctive. In the Common Redstart these are buff or chestnut.
The "fire" of the tail labels the bird as a Redstart, but it may be distinguished from the Common Redstart, which is the same size, at 14 cm length, by its sootier appearance, even when the distinctive white wing patch is not apparent, as in immature males.
They typically frequent cliffs and stony ground, but in Britain often breed and winter in industrial complexes that have the bare areas and cliff-like buildings it favours. It will catch passing insects in flight, and migrants may or hunt in the tide-wrack for flies or tiny crustaceans. Its quick ducks of head and body are robin-like, and its tail is often flicked. The male has a rattling song and a tick call.
This species belongs to a Eurasian clade which also includes the Daurian Redstart, Hodgson's Redstart, the White-winged Redstart, and maybe the Ala Shan Redstart. The present species' ancestors diverged from about 3 mya (Late Pliocene) onwards and spread throughout much of Eurasia from 1.5 mya (Early Miocene) on (Ertan 2006). It is not very closely related to the Common Redstart. As these are separated by different behavior and ecological requirements and have not evolved fertilization barriers, the two European species can nonetheless produce apparently fertile and viable hybrids (Grosch 2004).
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