The Black Redstart – highlander living in Latvia.


The Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros

Black Redstart in Europe lives mostly in high mountain regions – in rock cracks, niches, ruins etc., but in Latvia this sparrow-like bird lives in settlements, new buildings, and ruins, under the roof and stone layers. Female starts to build its nest in May where it lays 3-6 eggs. There can be two lays in one year. Both of the parents feed their chicks with different insects. Chicks leave their nest although they are not able to fly. Black Redstart is migrating bird which spends winter in Southwest Europe. More than 1000 Black Redstart pairs nest in Latvia.

Distribution of Black Redstart in Latvia. Squares show places where this species have been found. Latvian Breeding Bird Atlas (2000-2004) data. © Latvian Ornithological Society.

In the video material you will be able to see nest of Black Redstart which is built in old Swallow Hirundo rustica nest. Parents are feeding their chicks until just before leaving the nest it is visited by some guest...

One of nature laws are that only the strongest and experienced can survive. There are many bird and animal species that like to improve their diet with eggs and even bird chicks, in this case it is Magpie Pica pica, which takes the advantage of well fed, unprotected Black Redstart chicks that are very easy meal. Each and every animal tries to get as qualitative food as possible using minimal energy.