Daurian Redstart

The Daurian Redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus), is a fairly common bird in East Asia, ranging eastward from Mongolia and the Himalayas. There are two subspecies, both of which are migratory. P. a. auroreus winters in Korea, Japan, southeast coastal China and Taiwan, and P. a. leucopterus in northern India and parts of Southeast Asia. Daurian Redstarts favor open forests, forest edges, agricultural margins, and are also commonly found in parks and urban gardens. They are reasonably confiding and often allow humans to approach quite closely before moving off.

Like all Redstarts, they are strongly sexually dimorphic. Breeding males have a gray crown and nape with lighter forehead and crown-sides, a black face and chin, brownish mantle and wings and a large white wing patch; the chest, lower back and rump are orange, and the tail is black with orange sides. Juvenile males are similarly patterned but much duller and less clearly marked. Females are warm brown above, paler below, have an orange rump and tail sides, and have a large white wing patch similar to the males. Bill, eye, legs and feet are black in both sexes.

This species belongs to a Eurasian clan which also includes the Black Redstart, Hodgson’s Redstart, the White-winged Redstart which may be especially closely related to the present species, and maybe the Ala Shan Redstart.

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