The Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus) is a small robin-sized Passerine, about 14 cm long. The male is gray, with a black face and throat, reddish breast, and red-brown tail. The female has brown back, light-brown belly with rust-red tail and rump.
In Slovenia, where its conservation status is still E2, it lives in woodlands, town parks and various gardens. One of its behavioural features is a vibrating tail similar to that of its nearest relative, the Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros).
Common Redstart demonstrates a characteristic harsh call, something like »huid-tucc-tucc«, especially when alarmed. He usually sings at dawn from a high perch.
Its diet mainly consists of insects, spiders and various berries. It nests in tree holes or in wall cracks (see image below). In normal year it brings up two broods.
Below are images of the Common Redstart pair during
their nesting shift. I observed and photographed them several weeks ago. At
first, both male and female were shy and reserved not knowing whether I was
hostile or not. After a short time, the female stopped hesitating and continued
to feed youngsters in the nest that was smartly placed in a wall crack. The male needed
some more time to develop enough trust to approach. But when he saw his mate
doing her feeding shift without any special fear, he joined her. Finally, I was
approached by both of them at short distance.
The Common Redstart nest placed in the wall crack.
The Common Redstart female anxiously shaking her wings when she was in hesitation whether to approach her nest or not.
The Common Redstart female, this time calmed down and waiting her turn.
The Common Redstart male just after he landed behind my back and quietly watched me. Note a billful of "snacks" for youngsters.
The Common Redstart male relaxing a bit during his part of the shift by doing the "Scratch dance". :D
After some 45 min of observing and shooting, the
female sat on the parked car's antenna some 4 m away. She looked at me as she
wanted to say:« You're ok but it's time
for you to leave.«.
I silently lowered my camera and left by walking backwards. Nice parents these Common Redstarts.
All images © 2017 Sreco Tzar. All rights reserved.