Black redstart

We are at the gates of winter, with the trees already practically devoid of their leaves, where the days are shortening and everything seems to go into absolute calm. It is during these times when certain wintering birds can be seen in our fields and gardens, such as robins, warblers, redstarts… which come from central and southern Europe to our latitudes fleeing the intense cold, and when the warmer months return again hot we will not see them again until the following winter. I will talk about the latter, the redstarts, in this post.

The Black Redstart, Phoenicurus ochruros, usually moves along the ground, jumping freely and even running, frequently perching on stones, walls, roofs, posts and other prominent places.

With a wingspan of 14.5 cm and a weight of 16 g, males have a black face and breast, with obvious white margins, while females are greyish-brown over most of the body, lacking pure white on the tertiaries.

Here in our latitudes, as we have said, it is a wintering bird, which in spring will return to its summer quarters: central and southern Europe, Maghreb, Turkey, Tibet and Himalayas. It breeds on precipices and rocks, often in mountainous areas of a certain altitude, but also at sea level, sometimes in ruins and buildings.

Unlike, for example, sparrows that tend to go in flocks, redstarts are very solitary and are always seen wandering alone. Every winter day, a male black redstart frequently visits the interior patio of my house, perching on the chimney first and then from the wall to access, together with sparrows, washerwomen and starlings, the food that I provide them daily. A reason for joy that is repeated every winter, just as happens with swallows in summer when they nest in the attic of my house.

Playing your song:

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