Eversmann’s Redstart

Eversmann's Redstart
Eversmann’s Redstart Phoenicurus erythronotus, Xinjiang, China (43.474525, 87.191575), elev. 2080 m (6,560 ft.), July. (Craig Brelsford)

A Central Asian species, Eversmann’s Redstart Phoenicurus erythronotus occurs in northern and western Xinjiang. HABITAT Favors stony, scrubby fields and mountainsides and open areas in montane forest, to 5400 m (17,720 ft.). ID & COMPARISON Large size and face mask recall shrikes; tail-flicking and wing-dropping recall flycatchers. Male silver-grey from forehead to upper mantle, chestnut-rufous on lower mantle, back, rump, and outer tail; central rectrices blackish-brown. Black mask and scapular line. Wings blackish with white bar running across lesser to greater coverts. Smaller, but conspicuous, white spot on primary coverts. Underparts orange-rufous from chin to breast and flanks; central belly and undertail coverts white. In winter (fresh plumage), pale fringes obscures colorful plumage. Female patterned like other Phoenicurus redstarts, being mid-brown above, buffier brown below, grading to whitish on vent and undertail coverts; rufous tail with blackish-brown central rectrices; whitish eye-ring. Wings dark brown with buffish-white fringes to tertials, and buffish-white tips to median and greater coverts forming wingbars. Most similar Przevalski’s Redstart P. alaschanicus (unreported in Xinjiang) slightly warmer buff below and has more buff in wingbars. Distinguished from female Common Redstart P. phoenicurus and female Black Redstart P. ochruros by double buffish wingbars. Female Blue-capped Redstart P. coeruleocephala has wingbars but lacks rufous in tail. Juvenile similar to female but heavily spotted/scaled buff above and whitish below. BARE PARTS Bill, feet black. VOICE Loud, lively song reminiscent of Chaffinch and includes buzzes, squeaks, and wheezes; croaking and dry, rasping calls; also louder whistle. — Craig Brelsford


shanghaibirding.com covers all 12 members of Phoenicurus in China. Click any link below:

Przevalski’s Redstart Phoenicurus alaschanicus
Eversmann’s Redstart P. erythronotus
Blue-capped Redstart P. coeruleocephala
Black Redstart P. ochruros
Common Redstart P. phoenicurus
Hodgson’s Redstart P. hodgsoni
White-throated Redstart P. schisticeps
Daurian Redstart P. auroreus
Güldenstädt’s Redstart P. erythrogastrus
Blue-fronted Redstart P. frontalis
Plumbeous Water Redstart P. fuliginosus
White-capped Redstart P. leucocephalus


Daniel Bengtsson served as chief ornithological consultant for Craig Brelsford’s Photographic Field Guide to the Birds of China, from which this species description is drawn.

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