fire of the tail (3)
|The Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) is a 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, 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 cm 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, or 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.