Common, or American, redstart (Setophaga ruticilla)—(Top) Stephen Dalton—Natural History Photographic Agency, (bottom) Hal H. Harrison/Grant Heilman

Any of about 11 species of Old World chat-thrushes (see chat) in the genus Phoenicurus (family Muscicapidae) or about 12 New World species of wood warblers (family Parulidae) of similar appearance and behaviour. Old World redstarts have a red tail, which they constantly flit or shiver. They are about 6 in. (14 cm) long. The male common redstart (P. phoenicurus) is gray, with a black face and throat and a reddish breast. New World redstarts (genera Setophaga and Myioborus) are usually strikingly marked with black, white, and red.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
For the full entry on redstart, visit

Seen & Heard

What made you look up redstart? Please tell us what you were reading, watching or discussing that led you here.