Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Daurian redstart

Phoenicurus auroreus

Photo by Mathew Poll (Birds Korea)

Common name:
Daurian redstart (en); rabirruivo-dáurico (pt); rougequeue aurore (fr); colirrojo dáurico (es); spiegelrotschwanz (de)

Order Passeriformes
Family Muscicapidae

This species breeds in south-eastern Russia, eastern Mongolia, Korea and north-eastern and central China. They migrate south or east to winter in Japan, southern China, extreme north-eastern India, Myanmar and northern Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.

These birds are 15 cm long and weigh 11-20 g.

The Daurian redstart is found in sparse, open sub-alpine forests and forest edges, forest clearings, scrublands, riverine thickets, orchards, parks and gardens. It can also be seen near human settlements. They mostly breed at altitudes of 2.500-3.700 m but can be found and lower altitudes outside the breeding season.

They feed on arthropods, berries and seeds. Spiders and caterpillars are the main prey during the breeding season, while berries and seeds are more important during the rest of the year.

Daurian redstarts are monogamous and territorial. They breed in April-August and nest in a hole on the ground, on a tree, rock, wall, bank or cliff, or even on old buildings, up to 1,5 m above the ground. The nest cup is made of straw, bark, moss and rootlets, and lined with soft grass, hair and feathers. There the female lays 3-6 eggs that can be pinkish, whitish, pale greenish or pale blue with brown markings. The eggs are incubated for 16-18 days and the chicks fledge 2 weeks after hatching.

IUCN status - LC (Least Concern)
This species has a very large breeding range and is described as common in most of its breeding range, although rare on the northern edge of its range. The population is suspected to be stable in the absence of evidence for any declines or substantial threats.

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