Wildlife in Italy: Codirosso Phoenicurus phoenicurus

Wildlife in Italy: Codirosso Phoenicurus phoenicurus

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Systematic classification and distribution

Class: Birds
Order: Passeriformi
Family: flycatcher
Kind: Phoenicurus
Species: P. phoenicurus L.

This small songbird nests in much of Europe and winters in the African savannahs; in Italy it is therefore present only during spring and summer. It is a rather common species, especially from the valley floor up to 1000-1500 meters above sea level.

Black Redstart - Phoenicurus phoenicurus L. (photo

Black Redstart - Phoenicurus phoenicurus L. (photo Dr. Marco Mattoccia

Distinctive characters

Length: 14 cm
Wingspan: 20-24 cm

The plumage of the male is on the gray back, on the throat and on the sides of the black head, on the white forehead. Chest, hips, tail and back are rust red in color. Unlike the male, the female has much lighter and less evident shades.


It nests preferably in open or semi-open environments, such as the edges of deciduous and mixed forests, meadows with hedges, arable land and orchards; shows a strong link with man, often reproducing in the parhi and gardens of towns and cities. The redstart has the habit of staying for a long time during the day in a detected position, on poles, suspended cables, roofs; here the male continuously emits his characteristic song, which has the purpose of marking the territory occupied by the couple. Food is mainly composed of small flying insects.
The nest is a cup woven with plant stems and internally padded with feathers. It is placed in small hollows of trees or, in the case of inhabited areas, in holes in the walls; when available, nest boxes are also regularly occupied. The eggs, on average laid in number of 6, have a shell with a characteristic bluish-green color. The hatching, carried out mainly by the female, lasts 2 weeks. It is quite common for red-tailed pairs to complete 2 nests during the summer.

Video: Dinnertime with Wolves. Destination WILD (May 2022).