Family Old World Flycatchers and Chats (Muscicapidae)

Least Concern

Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus)


French: Rougequeue à front blanc German: Gartenrotschwanz Spanish: Colirrojo real

Motacilla Phœnicurus


, 1758,



Has hybridized several times with P. ochruros. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • P. p. phoenicurus (Linnaeus, 1758) – Common Redstart – Europe (except SE) and NW Africa E to C Siberia, N & E Kazakhstan, N Mongolia and extreme NW China (Tarbagatai, perhaps also Altai, W Xinjiang)#R; winters mainly in Africa S of Sahara.
  • P. p. samamisicus (Hablizl, 1783) – Ehrenberg's Redstart – S Balkans and Greece E to S Caucasus, Iran, SW Turkmenistan, S Uzbekistan and SW Tajikistan, likely also NW Afghanistan#R; non-breeding NE Africa and SW Arabian Peninsula.
  • Descriptive notes

    13–14·5 cm; 11–23 g. Male nominate race is bluish-grey from mid-crown to back and wings, with black face and throat, white band above forehead extending as... read more


    Song, by male on breeding grounds (occasionally in winter quarters), commonly from within foliage... read more


    Open forest and woodland, including old parkland and park-like gardens, forest clearings and... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates and berries. Animal food includes adult and larval beetles of at least 13 families, adult flies of at least ten families,... read more


    End Apr to mid-Jul in W Europe, up to 2 weeks earlier in S Europe; late May to late Jun in N Finland; May–Jul in Morocco; usually... read more


    Migratory. In autumn, populations from W, C & N Europe move through Iberia over extended period... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened (Least Concern). In mid 1990s, European population estimated at 1,962,293–3,369,902 pairs (most in Finland, France, Germany and Romania), while... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N. & Christie, D.A. (2020). Common Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus). 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 28 February 2020).