The blackstart (Oenanthe melanura) is a chat found in desert regions in North Africa, the Middle East and the Arabian Peninsula. It is resident throughout its range.
The blackstart is 14 cm long and is named for its black tail, which is frequently fanned; the rest of its plumage is bluish-grey or grey-brown (North African races being browner, Middle Eastern races bluer). The sexes are similar. The song is a clear melancholy whistle: CHURlee...TRUloo...CHURlee...TRUlur..., with short phrases from the song used as a call.
The habitats of blackstarts are rocky deserts and mountain slopes; they nest in rock crevices lay 3–4 eggs. They feed on insects, taken mainly on the ground. The blackstart is a confident species, unafraid of people.