A hybrid Common Redstart x Black Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus x P. ochruros) breeding in southeastern Sweden
Keywords:hybridisation, identification, bird ringing, bird banding, morphology, plumage
Breeding Redstart hybrids occur regularly and have been described from central but not from northern Europe. Many of the hybrids exhibit plumages resembling those of eastern subspecies of Black Redstart, making it difficult to assess the identity of certain birds. We present information on a well-documented breeding by a hybrid male Common Redstart × Black Redstart (Phoenicurus phoenicurus × P. ochruros), successfully rearing offspring together with Common Redstart females at an industrial estate in southeastern Sweden (57°49'16"N; 15°16'52"E) in the summers of 2009–2012. During its first summer at the location, the bird was captured and ringed, representing the second Redstart hybrid ever to be ringed in Sweden. With vocals like Black Redstart, the bird had a plumage highly similar to that of individuals belonging to the subspecies phoenicuroides in central Asia. Examined in hand, the bird exhibited some plumage characters and morphological traits consistent with details previously presented for Redstart hybrids in Europe. We confirm previous assumptions that Redstart hybrids can be separated from similarly looking eastern subspecies of Black Redstarts by means of differences in wing formulae.
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