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common name for an Old World thrush of the genus Phoenicurus, family Turdidae. A small, slender-legged songbird, it is found in woodlands, parks, and heaths. The European redstart, P. phoenicurus, also known as the firetail, breeds as far north as Scotland but winters in Africa. It is red-tailed and black-throated, with a bay-colored breast and ash-blue back and cap. It is a solitary bird and is highly aggressive during its breeding season. The Japanese P. aurorea is the easternmost representative of the genus. Redstarts build crude, cup-shaped nests either near the ground or in the hole of a tree or building. They lay from five to seven greenish-blue, faintly red-spotted eggs per clutch. The common name redstart is also used for several species of small New World wood-warblers, family Parulidae, in the genera Stetophaga and Myioborus. These are aerial insect catchers with wide, flat bills surrounded by stiff whiskerlike bristles called vibrissae. Like the Old World redstarts, to which they are not related, they are songbirds. The North American redstart (S. ruticillia) breeds in the temperate United States and Canada but winters in N South America. It is glossy black with a white breast and has orange wings, tail, and side patches. In females, gray and yellow replace black and orange. In the painted redstart (S. picta) of Central America, both sexes are equally brightly colored, red where its North American cousin is white, and white where the cousin is orange. There are also approximately ten species of redstarts in the tropical genus Myiobarus. The New World redstarts inhabit deciduous forest areas, preferably near water. Their eggs, from three to five per clutch in the northern species and from two to four per clutch in the tropical species, are grayish-white with variously colored spots and speckles. Redstarts are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Aves, order Passeriformes, families Turdidae and Parulidae.


1. any European songbird of the genus Phoenicurus, esp P. phoenicurus, in which the male has a black throat, orange-brown tail and breast, and grey back: family Muscicapidae (thrushes, etc.)
2. any North American warbler of the genus Setophaga, esp S. ruticilla
References in periodicals archive ?
Consequences of dominance-mediated habitat segregation in American Redstarts during the nonbreeding season.
Wintering range Breeding range Baltimore Oriole (Icterus galbula) CA N/E USA American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) CA N/E USA American Goldfinch (Spinus tristis) S.
ustulatus Cedar Waxwing Bombycilla cedrorum Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla Northern Waterthrush Parkesia noveboracensis Black-and-white Warbler Mniotilta varia Nashville Warbler Oreothlypis ruficapilla Mourning Warbler Geothlypis philadephia American Redstart Setophaga ruticilla Northern Parula S.
fusca), Black-and-white Warbler (Mniotilta varia), and American Redstart captured in shoreline habitat within the same study area indicated that many more birds passed through the area than subsequently stayed to breed (R.
Model (a) K (b) n (c) RSS American Redstart (Setophaga ruticilla) Y = temp 3 44 (1,598) 772.
Sexual habitat segregation by American Redstarts wintering in Jamaica: importance of resource seasonality.
A pair of American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla) was observed to use the nest of a Yellow Warbler whose offspring had already fledged earlier in the season (Yezerinac 1993).
Patterns and correlates of extrapair paternity in American Redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla).
To examine this, the Smithsonian scientists focused on American redstarts (Setophaga ruticilla), a member of the warbler family, at a non-breeding site in Jamaica where they conduct long-term studies.
According to a recent study by Peter Marra of the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, American redstarts wintering in prime Jamaican mangrove habitat go on to have better reproductive success than those using less desirable scrublands.

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