Around the end of June, beginning of July is a busy time for Redstarts as they feed their hungry offspring. The young need a lot of insects to feed on in order to grow big fast enough in the short and relatively cold northern summer – soon it’s time to leave the nest, and embark on the autumn migration.
Painted whitestarts have mostly glossy black plumage with carmine-red plumage on the lower breast and belly. Legs and bill are also black. There are contrasting white feathers on the lower eye-crescents, the wings, and outer tail feathers. Males and females are similar in plumage. Sexes differ slightly in measurements with males being slightly larger. Wing measurement of males range from 66-75 cm; females range from 66 to 71 cm. Tail measurements of males range from 60 to 68 cm; females range from 54 to 64.5 cm. Bill measurements of males and females both range from 8 to 9 cm. Tarsus measurements of both males and females range from 16 to 17.5 cm. The weight of both males and females range from 5.9 to 9.6 g. In comparison to adults, juvenile painted whitestarts have sooty brownish-grey plumage which becomes lighter on under-tail converts and belly. Juveniles lack vibrant red bellies. Juveniles have contrasting white feathers on lower eye-crescents, the wings, and outer tail feathers similar to adults. (Curson, et al., 1994; Parkes, 1961)
Location: Vaala, Finland
Photo info - 27.06.2008: Canon EOS-1D Mark III, 500 mm, ISO 2000, f 5, 1/2500 sec, Flash: not usedTags: feeding, leppälintu, phoenicurus phoenicurus, redstart