Identification: Black Redstarts have similar quivering red tails to Redstarts but the males are otherwise sooty-grey in colour apart from a blacker face and breast and a variable white panel in the wing. Females can be told from Redstarts because they are always duller with uniformly dark underparts from bill to legs.
Habitat: Breeds in towns and villages and in mountainous scree or sea cliffs. Winters on rocky shores, beaches, stony ground and around buildings.
Distribution: An uncommon breeding bird, usually in industrial areas such as on factories or power stations. Passage birds also occur in spring and autumn, being most abundant in the south-west during October-November. A small number of birds also winter. There have been a few records of birds apparently from one of the eastern races.
A very common bird in much of central Europe where they are easily found in most villages. Elsewhere they are generally a bird of rocky or mountainous areas.
Population: 27-74 breeding pairs mainly in south-east England. None in Ireland
3-6 million breeding pairs in much of Europe