Allied to Robins and Chats ; generally with chestnut tail, tail constantly in motion; food, insects, and fruit in autumn ; nest in holes of trees, walls, rocks, ruins, or in a bush or hollow in ground (rnoussieri); eggs pale blue or white.
Phcenicurus phcenicurus phcenicurus (L.). RED START. Fr. Rouge-queue ; Ger. Gartenrotschwanz ; Ital. Codirosso ; Swed. Rodstjart.
8 Crown and back slaty, forehead white ; rump, upper tail coverts, tail, breast, flanks, under wing coverts, and axillaries reddish chestnut ; lores, occasionally a narrow frontal band, face, and throat black ; abdomen white ; 3rd to 5th primaries emarginate, 1st longer than coverts, znd usually longer than 6th, which is 6-7 m.m. shorter than 5th. In winter, back is browner and under surface is white tipped. ? Brown, paler on underparts; rump, upper tail coverts and tail reddish chestnut ; under wing coverts and axillaries yellow buff, occasionally throat whitish with black bases and breast sometimes reddish tinged. Bill, legs and feet brownish black. Wing 8' 76-82, 4 75-81. Tarsus 20-22. Bill 8-1o.
Breeds.—Europe to far north ; British Isles ; south to N. Spain, C. Italy, Montenegro, Lower Danube, Russia south to Middle Volga and Urals and east into Siberia. Migrates ; occurs on passage in Mediterranean countries, N.W. Africa, Egypt, S, Russia, Caucasus and Asia Minor. \Vinters in tropical Africa.
P. phcenicurus algeriensis (Kleinschmidt).—Wing rounder ; 6th primary 4-5 m.m. shorter than 5th ; znd not longer, generally shorter than 6th.
Breeds.—Algeria and Morocco, N. and Middle Atlas, Portugal.
P. phcenicurus mesoleuca (I Icmprich and Ehrenberg). j Outer webs of secondaries and margins of primaries white, forming large speculum (in some birds almost wanting). In summer, sometimes upper back tinged black. Wing 77-S3 (II). 9 as in 9 "phcenicurus," sometimes a trace of speculum in wings and in old birds greyer above and below.
Breeds.—Crimea, Caucasus to Persia and Palestine. Occurs Egypt on passage. Winters N.E. Africa, S. Arabia. Accidental in Balkans.
Phcenicurus ochrurus ochrurus (Gmelin).
j Crown and rump grey ; back, scapulars, face, throat, breast, and upper abdomen black ; lower abdomen, tail coverts, and tail reddish chestnut ; under wing coverts black and white ; axillaries grey mixed with chestnut, sometimes almost pure chestnut ; outer margins of secondaries edged white ; second primary about equal to 7th, 3rd to 6th emarg inate. Bill, legs and feet black. Wing 82-87 (H.). 9 Brown,
paler below and almost white in centre of abdomen ; tail as in J.
Breeds.—Caucasus to N.W. Persia. Winters in Palestine.
P. ochrurus gibraltariensis (Gmclin). Black Redstart. Fr. Rouge queue noir ; Ger. Hausrotschwanz ; Ital. Codirosso spazzacamino ; Swear. Svart-Rodstjert.
j Differs from "ochrurus" j in having back dark slate grey, axillaries grey with white edges and lower abdomen grey. 9 as Y "ochrurus" but greyer brown. Wing j St-88, 9 80-84. Tarsus 21.5-24. Bill 8-1o.
Breeds.—Europe north to Denmark, east to E. Prussia ; Poland, Rumania, Ukraine, Crimea, Bulgaria, Macedonia, and north Mediterranean countries. Partly migratory ; occurs on passage and in winter Britain (in small numbers), Mediterranean countries, Egypt.
P. ochrurus semirufus (Hemprich and Ehrenberg). j as "ochrurus" but all abdomen chestnut and axillaries pure chestnut.
Resident.—Syria and Palestine Mountains and Euphrates Valley. Has occurred in Egypt.
Phcenicurus erythrogaster erythrogaster (Glilden stadt).
j Crown, nape, and wing patch white ; lores, face, throat, chest, back and wings black ; underparts, tail coverts, and tail chestnut. Bill, legs, and feet black. Wing to1-to6. Tarsus 26.
Culmen 16-17.5 (H.). ? Brown, tail coverts and tail paler chestnut.
Breeds.—Caucasus and Transcaucasia.
Phoanicurus moussieri (Olphe-Galliard).
g Upper parts, frontal band, face and ear coverts black ; bar on forecrown, supercilium, hind collar and wing patch white ; rump, tail coverts, tail and underparts orange red ; 2nd primary between 8th and 9th. Bill, legs and feet black. Grey brown above, upper tail coverts and tail duller than in underparts varying brown to almost as red as , wing patch rarely present. Wing e 65-70, ? 63-67. Tarsus Culmen 13-15 (H.).
Resident.—Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Occurs Saharan oases in winter ; once Heligoland.