Wednesday 22 May
Rufous-backed redstart (Phoenicurus erythronotus)
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Rufous-backed redstart fact file
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Rufous-backed redstart description
The rufous-backed redstart (Phoenicurus erythronotus) is a small bird, named for the beautiful reddish-orange (‘rufous’) plumage on the back of the male. The male rufous-backed redstart also has a reddish-orange throat, breast and tail, the central two feathers of which are brown. The belly is white and the blackish wings bear a long, white streak (2) (3). The face of the male is black, contrasting with the grey crown (3).
Both sexes have small, fairly weak legs, and a short, flattened bill which is wide at the base. Bristles at the corners of the mouth help to funnel food and protect the bird’s eyes from insect legs when eating (2).
The rufous-backed redstart, also known as Eversmann’s redstart, is not a very vocal or musical bird. Its songs are made up of a mix of short, harsh, wheezy and often slurred notes (2).
- Also known as
- Eversmann's redstart.
- Phoenicurus erythronota. Top
BirdLife International - Rufous-backed redstart
IUCN Red List (November, 2010)
- del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A. and Christie, D.A. (2005) Handbook of the Birds of the World. Volume 10: Cuckoo-shrikes to Thrushes. Lynx Edicons, Barcelona.
- Mackinnon, J. and Phillipps, K. (2000) A Field Guide to the Birds of China. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
BirdLlife International (November, 2010)
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Rufous-backed redstart biology
Insects, such as flies, ants and moths, are the main components of the rufous-backed redstart’s diet (2). These winged prey items are typically caught by pouncing from a low perch, but they may also be plucked from vegetation as the redstart moves around on the ground. This species may also feed on berries (2).Top
Rufous-backed redstart range
The rufous-backed redstart occurs in Central Asia and southern Siberia (3). It breeds in northern parts of its range, including Russia, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (4), and winters in the south, from Afghanistan, west to Iraq, and south to Saudi Arabia and Oman (3) (4).Top
Rufous-backed redstart habitat
The rufous-backed redstart inhabits rocky scrub land and temperate forest, and can also be found in agricultural land and rural gardens. It occurs up to an altitude of 5,400 metres, but favours lower elevations during winter, down to 2,100 metres (2) (4).Top
Rufous-backed redstart status
The rufous-backed redstart is classified as Least Concern (LC) on the IUCN Red List (1).Top
Rufous-backed redstart threats
The rufous-backed redstart is not known to be facing any major threats (4).Top
Rufous-backed redstart conservation
There are no known conservation measures currently in place for the rufous-backed redstart.Top
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