RED­START

Bird Watching (UK) - - Your Birding Month -

Red­starts mainly breed in the north and west of the UK, in a va­ri­ety of ru­ral habi­tats with trees. In April, they pass through the coun­try and are a prize find for in­land patch watch­ers. They are one of those birds which se­lect par­tic­u­lar patches of favourable habi­tat while stop­ping dur­ing mi­gra­tion. So, they may turn up at the same place year after year. Gen­er­ally, they like quite dense bushes and trees (to bolt to for cover), of­ten along lin­ear fea­tures such as hedges and fence lines, ad­ja­cent to short cropped grass (for feed­ing on in­ver­te­brates by pounc­ing from the hedge, then re­turn­ing to cover). Males are at their best in the spring, be­ing bright or­ange, grey and black. Fe­males are duller brown, but both sexes have quiv­er­ing tales of glow­ing fire.

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