basic information

Eversmann's Redstart

Phoenicurus erythronotus (Eversmann, 1841)

Красноспинная горихвостка | Қызылжон қызылқұйрық
spring male

Big Almaty lake, Zailiyskiy Alatau
© Vassiliy Fedorenko


The spring male of the Eversmann's Redstart has the ashy-grey crown and neck. The back and uppertail are bright reddish-rufous, the tail is rufous except the brown central pair of tail feathers. The wings are dark brown with broad white covert bar. The underparts from the throat to the white belly are bright rufous. In fresh autumn plumage the upperparts are grayish brown through which the reddish-rufous mottles appear. The legs and beak are black, the eyes are brown. The female's upperparts are sandy-brown with the rufous uppertail; and the bright rufous tail feather and tail coverts. The underparts are grayish buffy tinged. The wings are brownish with the white coverts bar. The great coverts and inner secondaries are with the broad buffy-whitish borders; by this white and buffy bars on the wings the females of Eversmann's Redstart are well distinguished from females of other Redstarts. The legs and beak are brownish. Juveniles in the first plumage are heavy spotted.


The Eversmann's Redstart breeds in Zailiyskiy Alatau, Kungey Alatau, in the ridges of Khan-Tengri, in Dzhungarskiy Alatau, Saur and in Southwest Altai. In summer July 1998 it recorded in Aksu-Dzhabagly Reserve in gorge Koksay. On migration it occurs in the foothills and the adjacent plains in the west to lowers of Ile, Chu rivers and Syrdarya valley at Dzhulek. It winters in Dzharkent area, in Ile valley, in Chu-Iliyskiye Mts. and in Western Tien Shan. Vagrant bird recorded in Kazalinsk and Orenburg areas. Near Chilik 12 birds recorded 15 January 2000.


The Eversmann's Redstart is common resident or short distant migrant. It inhabits upper part of forest and sub-alpine belts, from the spruce forests up to the last juniper bushes on the alpine meadow, on 2300-3500 m in Tien Shan, and 1400-2000 m in Altai. In breeding areas it appears in early March - early April singly or in small groups, the formation of the pair finishes to mid-April. It breeds in separate pairs at 70-200 m from each other. The nest is built by the female only on the ground under the stone, bush or grass, rare between the stones, in the cavities of road precipices or in the construction. It is constructed from the moss, thin twigs, bast strips, dry grass and rootlets and is lined usually with moss admixed by hairs and feathers; nest is built for 5-12 (first clutch) or 3-5 days (second one). Clutches of 3-6, usually 4-5 eggs is in end April – mid-July. Only female incubates for 14-16 days, male does not feed her. Both parents feed juveniles fledged at 16-18 days old, in mid-June - early August. After the fledging both parents during about two weeks feed juveniles, but the female after some days begins to build the new nest at 6-250 m from first one. Usually there are two broods, but the some pairs catch to breed three times, what is adjusted by the color ringing. The repeated breeding after the losing of the nest is common too. It winters in the low mountains and foothills. The autumn dispersal in low altitude starts in end September - October, the latest birds in Bolshoye Almatinskoye lake recorded in the end of October. At Chokpak Pass single birds were ringed on spring at 4 April and on autumn from 12 till 26 October.


Э.И.Гаврилов. "Фауна и распространение птиц Казахстана". Алматы, 1999. Gavrilov E. I., Gavrilov A. E. "The Birds of Kazakhstan". Almaty, 2005. "Птицы Казахстана" том 3. "Наука". Алма-Ата, 1970.


other names

Rufous-backed Redstart

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