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Common Redstart

Common Redstart
Photo Information
Copyright: Zeno Swijtink (Zeno) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 483 W: 0 N: 1345] (10867)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2011-05-28
Categories: Birds
Camera: Nikon D7100, Nikon 300mm VR 2.8 D + TC 2X
Exposure: f/8, 1/500 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2011-06-07 8:34
Viewed: 3029
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
The Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus), or often simply Redstart, is a small passerine bird in the redstart genus Phoenicurus. Like its relatives, it was formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family (Turdidae), but is now known to be an Old World flycatcher (Muscicapidae).The Common Redstart shows some affinity to the European Robin in many of its habits and actions. It has the same general carriage, and chat-like behaviour, and is the same length at 13–14.5 cm long but slightly slimmer and not quite as heavy, weighing 11–23 g. The orange-red tail, from which it and other redstarts get their names ("start" is an old word for "tail"), is frequently quivered. Among common European birds, only the Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochrurus) has a similarly coloured tail.
The male in summer has a slate-grey head and upperparts, except the rump and tail, which, like the flanks, underwing coverts and axillaries are orange-chestnut. The forehead is white; the sides of the face and throat are black. The wings and the two central tail feathers are brown, the other tail feathers bright orange-red. The orange on the flanks shades to almost white on the belly. The bill and legs are black. In autumn, pale feather fringes on the body feathering obscures the colours of the male, giving it a washed-out appearance. The female is browner, with paler underparts; it lacks the black and slate, and the throat is whitish.
It is a summer visitor throughout most of Europe and western Asia (east to Lake Baikal), and also in northwest Africa in Morocco. It winters in central Africa and Arabia, south of the Sahara Desert but north of the Equator, from Senegal east to Yemen. It is widespread as a breeding bird in Great Britain, particularly in upland broadleaf woodlands and hedgerow trees, but in Ireland it is very local.
The males first arrive in early to mid April often a few days in advance of the females. Five or six light blue eggs are laid during May, with a second brood in mid summer in the south of the breeding range. It departs for Africa between mid-August and early October. It often feeds like a flycatcher, making aerial sallies after passing insects, and most of its food consists of winged insects. The call is chat-like and the alarm a plaintive single note, wheet, like that of many other chats.The male’s song is similar to that of the Robin, but never more than a prelude, since it has an unfinished, feeble ending.Common Redstarts prefer open mature birch and oak woodland with a high horizontal visibility and low amounts of shrub and understorey especially where the trees are old enough to have holes suitable for its nest. They prefer to nest on the edge of woodland clearings. In Britain it occurs primarily in upland areas less affected by agricultural intensification, but further east in Europe also commonly in lowland areas, including parks and old gardens in urban areas. They nest in natural tree holes, so dead trees or those with dead limbs are beneficial to the species; nestboxes are sometimes used. A high cover of moss and lichen is also preferred. They also use mature open conifer woodland, particularly in the north of the breeding range. Management to thin out the trees is thus favoured.
The closest genetic relative of the Common Redstart may be the Moussier's Redstart, though incomplete sampling of the genus gives some uncertainty to this.Its ancestors were apparently the first redstarts to spread to Europe; they seem to have diverged from the Black Redstart group about 3 mya, during the Piacenzian.Genetically, Common and Black Redstarts are still fairly compatible and can produce hybrids that appear to be healthy and fertile, but they are separated by different behaviour and ecological requirements so hybrids are very rare in nature.

joska, PaulLees, Argus, cirano, Pitoncle, dmark11 has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2011-06-07 8:42]

Hallo Zeno,
Pracht foto van deze Gekraagde Roodstaart. Hij staat er erg fotogeniek op in deze pose. Uitstekende scherpte, mooie heldere natuurlijke kleuren en een fantastische compositie. Goede diepte in de foto.

Hi Zeno,

Very nice composition with the bird perching and checking on you before going with the food to his nest. Well done and good use of the 2X converter.

Regards, Mario

Fantastic photo Zeno!! The composition and the sharpness are excellent. The colours and the lighting are fantastic. This bird is one of my targets.

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2011-06-07 9:53]

Hi Zeno,
Splendid lights and colors, beautiful details on this photo, TFS!

Hi Zeno,

Very nice capture of this fine Common Restart bird, good strong composition, lovely natural colours and a nice highlighted eye, great job well done,
Best Regards my friend and have a nice evening,


hallo Zeno
je zal deze maar tegenkomen
super mooi en veel details met erg mooi licht
bedankt groetjes lou

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2011-06-07 11:39]

Hello Zeno,
A beautiful well composed shot of a male Redstart loaded with insects for his family. The POV and pose are great and taken with fine sharpness and colours against a good natural BG.
Thanks and best regards,

  • Great 
  • bedri Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 111 W: 0 N: 237] (1284)
  • [2011-06-07 11:47]

Hi Zeno,
Excellent and fantastic photo, very good BG and POV.

Hallo Zeno,
a superb capture of the Common Redstart with prey for its young, superb sharpness and marvellous colours, well saturated, excellent point of view and composition
Best regards

Hi Zeno,

Great job!The colours and sharpness of your photo are excellent!
Your notes are also very useful!

Andreas Paradisis

Wow da's bingo Zeno, daar ben ik wel jaloers op


  • Great 
  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2011-06-07 13:13]

Hello Zeno,
A very nice capture of this Common redstart with its prey,fine sharpness and splendid colors.Great composition.TFS.

Bonjour Zeno,
Agréable valorisation du sujet dans son environnement même si l'éclairage me paraît un peu trop fort, principalement sur le sommet de la tête de l'oiseau.
A bientôt sur TN pour de nouvelles aventures.

Superb image, good detail, nice background, good point of view. regards yiannis

Hi Zeno,
Great timing of this bird catching some lunch. Well focused with a wonderful leafy backdrop. Nice eye contact of this very pretty bird. Well done.

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