Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Blue-fronted Redstart (Phoenicurus frontalis)


French: Rougequeue à front bleu German: Blaustirn-Rotschwanz Spanish: Colirrojo frentiazul

Phœnicura frontalis


, 1831,

#R, Garhwal, Himalayas


Birds from China reportedly paler, and sometimes separated as race sinae#R; genetic data suggest that there is strong divergence between Chinese and Nepalese populations#R, but further study required. Monotypic.


NE Afghanistan and Himalayas E to C & S China (E Qinghai and NW Gansu, S to S & E Xizang, Sichuan, N Yunnan and Guizhou), probably including N Myanmar; non-breeding at lower levels in N India E to N Indochina.

Descriptive notes

15–16 cm; 12–19 g. The only redstart with inverted-T pattern on tail. Breeding male has blue head, back, wings and throat; rest of underparts, rump and relatively... read more


Song, sometimes in low display-flight, a series of phrases consisting of the same basic but subtly... read more


Breeds in subalpine dwarf juniper, rhododendron, birch scrub and open grassy areas in alpine zone... read more

Food and feeding

Insects, berries, seeds. Insects predominate May–Sept, but from Aug berries and seeds also taken; in winter exclusively vegetable... read more


Mid-May to Aug in Himalayas and May–Jul in China. Nest a cup of dry moss bedded on coarse grass, lined with hair, feathers or thin... read more


Altitudinal migrant and (probably partial) short-distance migrant, but vertical movements may be... read more

Status and conservation

Not globally threatened. Presumably scarce breeder in Afghanistan (Nuristan). Common in Himalayas; fairly common in China. Presumed to breed in N Myanmar. In non-breeding... read more

Recommended citation

Collar, N. (2020). Blue-fronted Redstart (Phoenicurus frontalis). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 25 February 2020).