Güldenstädt's redstart

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Güldenstädt's redstart
Guldenstadt's Redstart - Altai - Kazakistan S4E4329 (19337377596).jpg
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Passeriformes
Family: Muscicapidae
Genus: Phoenicurus
Species: P. erythrogastrus
Binomial name
Phoenicurus erythrogastrus
(Güldenstädt, 1775)

The Güldenstädt's redstart (Phoenicurus erythrogastrus) also sometimes called the white-winged redstart, is a species of bird in the genus Phoenicurus, family Muscicapidae. It is found in the high mountains of southwestern and central Asia in the Caucasus, Karakoram, Pamir, Himalaya, Tian Shan, and Altai, in the countries of Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bhutan, China, Georgia, India, Iran, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Russia, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.[2]

Female at Tilla Lotani (3,800 m) in Kullu District, Himachal Pradesh, India

It is the largest redstart, 18 cm long and 21–29 g weight. The adult male is black above except for a white crown, a white patch on the wing, and an orange-red tail; below, the throat and upper breast are black, and the rest of the underparts a rich orange-red. The female and immature male are brown above and orange-buff below, with an orange-red tail.[2]

It breeds at high altitudes from 3,600–5,200 m in alpine meadows and rock-fields, moving slightly lower to 1,500–4,800 m in winter where it occurs mainly in subalpine Hippophae scrub; some populations, notably the northernmost in the mountains around Lake Baikal, migrate further, reaching northeastern China. It feeds on fruit and a wide variety of invertebrates.[2]

Taxonomy and relationships[edit]

There are two subspecies:[2]

  • Phoenicurus erythrogastrus erythrogastrus, Caucasus
  • Phoenicurus erythrogastrus grandis, Central Asian mountains

In plumage and size the male closely resembles the white-capped redstart Chaimarrornis leucocephalus, sharing the black upperparts and white crown, but lacking the white wing patch.[2] Although the white-capped redstart is currently placed in a separate genus Chaimarrornis, this genus is not genetically distinct and is likely to merged into Phoenicurus in the future.[3] Male Güldenstädt's redstarts also show some plumage similarities to the much smaller Moussier's redstart P. moussieri, including the white wing patch, while the females more resemble an outsized common redstart.[2]

The scientific name was usually cited in older texts as Phoenicurus erythrogaster, though this is an error in Latin grammar.[2]


  1. ^ BirdLife International (2012). "Phoenicurus erythrogastrus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 26 November 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Hoyo, J. del; et al., eds. (2005). Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 10. Barcelona: Lynx Edicions. p. 773. ISBN 84-87334-72-5. 
  3. ^ Sangster, G., Alström, P., Forsmark, E., & Olsson, U. (2010). Multi-locus phylogenetic analysis of Old World chats and flycatchers reveals extensive paraphyly at family, subfamily and genus level (Aves: Muscicapidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 57: 380–392 Full text