Birda Logo
A photo of a Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros), male
Black Redstart, Male

Black Redstart

Phoenicurus ochruros

The Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) is a small, charismatic passerine bird, exhibiting a blend of dark and vibrant plumage. Males are distinguished by their dark grey to black upperparts and breast, with a striking orange-red rump and tail. Females and juveniles are more subdued in color, with grey to grey-brown feathers and the same vivid tail coloration that is the hallmark of the species.

Identification Tips

Adult males are easily identified by their dark upperparts and black breast, contrasting with the orange-red lower rump and tail. The belly and undertail may vary from blackish-grey to orange-red, depending on the subspecies. Females and juveniles are less conspicuous, with overall greyer tones and a distinctive orange-red rump and tail. The presence of pale fringes on the secondaries forms a whitish wing panel in some subspecies.


The Black Redstart has adapted remarkably to urban environments, often found nesting in crevices or holes within buildings. Originally a dweller of stony mountainous regions, it now thrives in industrial areas with similar structural features.


This species is widely distributed across south and central Europe, Asia, and north-west Africa. It is a resident in milder regions, while populations in the northeast migrate to warmer areas during winter.


The Black Redstart is known for its robin-like movements, including quick ducks of the head and body, and frequent tail flicking. Males possess a rattling song and a tick call, adding to their distinctive presence.

Song & Calls

The Black Redstart's vocal repertoire includes a variety of calls, which differ among subspecies. The male's song is a rattling melody, while its call is a sharp 'tick', often heard during its active foraging.


Typically monogamous, the Black Redstart begins breeding in mid-April. Nests are built by females in sheltered nooks, lined with soft materials. Clutches consist of 4 to 6 eggs, incubated primarily by the female. Both parents tend to the fledglings, which leave the nest after 12 to 19 days.

Similar Species

The Common Redstart shares some similarities but can be distinguished by its different behavior, ecological requirements, and less dark plumage.

Diet and Feeding

The Black Redstart's diet includes insects, which it often catches mid-flight. It is also known to forage in coastal areas for tiny crustaceans and flies.

Conservation status

The IUCN Red List classifies the Black Redstart as Least Concern, indicating a stable population across its extensive range.

Black Redstart Sounds

Recorded by: © 
App logo
Birda is a birdwatching app and community aimed at curious people who want to deepen their connection with nature.

Black Redstarts on Birda


More Chats, Old World Flycatchers

Birda Logo

Your birdwatching journey like never before

Connect with nature in minutes
Take a walk, look out of the window and log the birds that you see. Feel good about those little connections to nature.
Discover the joy of birding
Find new birding spots, see more birds, share and celebrate with a like-minded community of nature lovers.
Play your part in saving nature
Logging your birding sightings and sessions turns into positive action for our planet. Every sighting counts.

Birda Blog

What Our Birders Say
We've been waiting for an App like this
Excellent! We've been waiting for an app like this! Thank you! It would be nice if you could assign additional birds to sessions later!
Such a great app!
I didn’t think I could enjoy birding more but this app makes it so much better. Some great features and a really great way to share your sightings with your friends or fellow birders nearby or around the world! ❤️
Amylia S
Best app for any birding person!
I love this app!! I am so addicted to it when I saw it had 3 star review I was so sad! The app is awesome!! The best app for any birding person! ❤️
Paul F
Very good database
Highly recommend. It great that this app shows you male Vs female variations when posting. Very good database I'm really impressed.
Great bird recording
For a while I’ve been trying to find an app to easily record bird lists and day out and struggled to find one that I like. Birda is great for this, straightforward and a great community!
Robred 2
Fun way to add to your birdwatching experience
I enjoy watching birds in my backyard, but this app helped me really pay attention while on vacation this summer. It was fun to add new birds to my bird watching app.
Jane N
A great app
Enjoying it immensely and finding it useful too. Recording the different birds and counting them is showing me how the present climate is affecting them all. I've trebled the numbers by planting native hedging. A great app.
Stewart W
Fantastic to be involved
Fantastic to be involved, great for mental health and gets you responding with the Challenges that are to takd part in.
Fantastic app - Love it!
Love this app and have used it almost daily. Lots of species information and easy to use. Love seeing birds spotted by other users in the UK and worldwide.
Recommend for any bird watcher
Very wholesome app: I joined this app with a new interest in watching birds to help me find out what I was spotting. The community is very active in helping identify birds which is great and everyone is very kind so it’s just a nice wholesome community. I would definitely recommend this for any bird spotter 😃
As featured in
Connect with nature,
Find your flock
Download Birda - QR Code
© 2024 All rights reserved