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Presumed male Black Redstart and Common Redstart hybrid in Spain

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Old Sunday 30th December 2007, 20:37   #1
BobTag
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Presumed male Black Redstart and Common Redstart hybrid in Spain

During the Christmas period my father showed me a number of his recent photos, including the attached two of a redstart sp.

Both photos were taken in southern Spain in February 2007. Neither photo has been edited, other than reducing the size of the image.

My belief is that it is a male Black Redstart x Common Redstart hybrid, based on:

- Rufous belly and lower breast is not shown on local aterrimus form of Black Redstart
- Large white flash on the closed secondaries and tertials is not shown on any of the Middle Eastern and Asian forms of Black Redstart that do have a rufous belly
- Mantle colour appears a paler grey tone than black chest, a pro-Common Redstart feature whilst aterrimus is very black backed. Crown may also be paler grey than Black Redstart should be?
- Uneven cut-off between black, grey and rufous on the chest

I have a couple of questions;

- Anyone consider this not to be a hybrid? Have I overlooked a Black Redstart form?
- Just how common in the wild do hybrids of these two species occur?
- Anyone know of other photos of adult hybrids anywhere?

Cheers, BT
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Old Sunday 30th December 2007, 20:42   #2
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Your bird is much in line with this one
http://www.birdpix.nl/album_page.php...75c5fd04ce5fb4
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Old Sunday 30th December 2007, 21:00   #3
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I'd imagine it to be a variant of black redstart with more red. The extended red is the only anomaly IMO. The paler grey back doesn't necessarily indicate a common redstart (could be a black from any part of western Europe where some are positively grey on the back) and the pale wing panel puts me off it having common redstart parentage. Also I'd expect there to be at least some hint of a white super in front of the eye if there were common genes in it. Would be interesting to hear more opinions, interesting bird.

Last edited by nickderry : Sunday 30th December 2007 at 21:02.
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Old Sunday 30th December 2007, 22:16   #4
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Here's a presumed hybrid from Finland:

http://www.birdlife.fi/havainnot/rk/.../redstart.html

Here's a hybrid pair from Finland:

http://www.tarsiger.com/gallery/inde...44525&lang=eng

Once also a hybrid (or at least a presumed hybrid) bred with a Common Redstart raising several young (also in Finland).
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Old Sunday 30th December 2007, 23:06   #5
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It looks like the black redstart subspecies semirufous from the Eastern Med
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 09:46   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan Seaton View Post
It looks like the black redstart subspecies semirufous from the Eastern Med
Hi Alan. No, it's not semirufous as that form does not show extensive white flashes on the closed wing of a male, like this bird does. Also the black cut-off on the chest is cleaner cut.

Cheers, BT
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 09:59   #7
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Hi Alan. No, it's not semirufous as that form does not show extensive white flashes on the closed wing of a male, like this bird does. Also the black cut-off on the chest is cleaner cut.

Cheers, BT
actually, the eastern races are rather variable and some intergradation with western birds also occurs, from BWP:

"P. o. semirufus from Levant small, like [more eastern] phoenicuroides; ♂ similar to phoenicuroides, but upperparts usually with much black (sometimes up to crown and down to back); black of chest reaches slightly further down; sides of breast, axillaries, and under wing-coverts either rufous or mixed rufous and grey; wing has white patch, like gibraltariensis.... Nominate ochruros small, like phoenicuroides.... ♂ from southern and eastern Turkey and Transcaucasia rather like gibraltariensis, but grey-white of belly and vent replaced by rufous, grey of sides of breast, axillaries, and under wing-coverts mixed with variable amount of rufous, and no white wing-patch; in northern Iran, belly of ♂ deeper rufous and more sharply divided from black of breast, rather like semirufus, but black on upperparts more restricted (usually on mantle only), breast more extensively black, underwing mixed grey and rufous, and usually no white wing-patch. Population of Caucasus highly variable: some as extensively rufous as birds from northern Iran, others similar to gibraltariensis (especially in western Caucasus), but sometimes without white wing-patch or with partly rufous belly."
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 10:01   #8
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As a matter of interest, where abouts in southern Spain were they taken?

John
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 10:13   #9
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Originally Posted by rob stoff View Post
actually, the eastern races are rather variable and some intergradation with western birds also occurs
"Actually", it seems to depend which resources you use... From 4th edition of Svensson's ID guide to Euro Passerines:

"Ssp semirufus (Syria, Lebanon, Israel): ad male resembles ssp. rufiventris, being very black above and lacking white wing patch"

Anyhow, what do you make of the bird, Rob?
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 10:15   #10
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Originally Posted by John Cantelo View Post
As a matter of interest, where abouts in southern Spain were they taken?

John
Hi John,

The photos were taken near Sotogrande, which is on the Andalucian coast between Estepona and Gibraltar I believe,

BT
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 10:34   #11
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could well be a hybrid - seems the best explanation in this case? It does happen now and again.

http://www.pbase.com/glennv/image/77815518

Apparent hybrid redstarts in Finland resembling Black Redstart of eastern subspecies phoenicuroides Magazine British Birds, vol. 94, no. 11, 2001 Page 542 - 545

Kai Grosch (2004) Hybridization between redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus and black redstart P. ochruros, and the effect on habitat exploitation Journal of Avian Biology 35 (3), 217–223.
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 11:48   #12
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Originally Posted by BobTag View Post
"Actually", it seems to depend which resources you use... From 4th edition of Svensson's ID guide to Euro Passerines:

"Ssp semirufus (Syria, Lebanon, Israel): ad male resembles ssp. rufiventris, being very black above and lacking white wing patch"

Anyhow, what do you make of the bird, Rob?
dunno, location suggests a hybrid perhaps, would be useful to have it in the hand to check wing formula. Not sure how some hybrids can be distinguished from Eastern Black Reds otherwise.

Rob
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Old Monday 31st December 2007, 13:36   #13
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Hi John,

The photos were taken near Sotogrande, which is on the Andalucian coast between Estepona and Gibraltar I believe,

BT
Thanks. I'll be out that way myself, but unfortunately not until February,

John
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 16:30   #14
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Hi everyone, thanks for your comments and thoughts so far.

There seem to be three suggestions put forward, which I'd appreciate any further thoughts on:

1) It's a hybrid between Common and Black Redstart. I'm still personally favouring this option.

2) It's a Black Redstart of an eastern form. Rob & I's dicussions have shown that some literature is contradictory about the appearances of some middle eastern forms of Black Red. Should this bird prove to be an Eastern Black Red, I'm sure it would be a significant record for southern Spain, however I just can't find any photos of eastern forms of BlackRed that look like this - does anyone have any? I've personally not seen one in the field like this myself.

3) It's a Black Redstart showing an unusal amount of rufous on the belly & chest. Gerd has shown a pic of an apparant male gibraltariensis showing such plumage. Does anyone know how frequently this occurs in gibraltariensis? Furthermore, does anyone know the winter status of gibraltariensis in southern Spain? The bird in the photo can't be the local aterrimus due to the grey back (which I still personally think looks more like the back tone of Common Redstart than gibraltariensis Black Redstart...!).

Any more thoughts?

Cheers, BT
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 17:21   #15
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I have ringed loads of gibraltarensis in the Balearics and never found one looking like Gerd's bird or the subject bird. I don't think it's a common feature. I think they may be most/all hybrids but who knows.
In this web page there's another odd looking bird from Spain. The text (in catalan) says that no matter it's rufous underparts, it's a Black Redstart with an unusual colouration but gives no further reasons (?!) of why they state this...

http://es.geocities.com/ocellsosona/Novembre_2005.htm
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 17:30   #16
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This swedish bird also looks odd

http://www.club300.se/Gallery/ViewIm...x?imageID=6561
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Old Friday 4th January 2008, 21:38   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTag View Post
Hi everyone, thanks for your comments and thoughts so far.

There seem to be three suggestions put forward, which I'd appreciate any further thoughts on:

1) It's a hybrid between Common and Black Redstart. I'm still personally favouring this option.

2) It's a Black Redstart of an eastern form. Rob & I's dicussions have shown that some literature is contradictory about the appearances of some middle eastern forms of Black Red. Should this bird prove to be an Eastern Black Red, I'm sure it would be a significant record for southern Spain, however I just can't find any photos of eastern forms of BlackRed that look like this - does anyone have any? I've personally not seen one in the field like this myself.

3) It's a Black Redstart showing an unusal amount of rufous on the belly & chest. Gerd has shown a pic of an apparant male gibraltariensis showing such plumage. Does anyone know how frequently this occurs in gibraltariensis? Furthermore, does anyone know the winter status of gibraltariensis in southern Spain? The bird in the photo can't be the local aterrimus due to the grey back (which I still personally think looks more like the back tone of Common Redstart than gibraltariensis Black Redstart...!).

Any more thoughts?

Cheers, BT
Hi Bob,

I have ringed several aterrimus and gibraltariensis, plus during the course of the winter and summer months seen lots in the field. I have to confess I have never seen any like this! It's not just the extent of rufous, but the deep and rich red under tail coverts. Male gibraltariensis do show deep rufous, but not this red or at least in my experience, I have never seen this colouration extend beyond the tibia. The mantle grey can show in some wintering birds here. In all else it looks a ringer for gibraltariensis which occurs during the winter down that part of the coast. Also at the time of year the photo was taken the grey cap can be seen on many male P.o's normally fringing.

I would not rule out hybrid as you suggest, however the mantle and cap colour grey I could not use to explain the possibility. Handsome devil though!
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Old Saturday 5th January 2008, 16:58   #18
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The picture by Daniele Occhiato was a very nice find by Gerd. It's obviously something similar.
I'd suggest reading L. B. Steijn, 2005. Dutch Birding 27 (3) 171-194, which contains a plethora of pictures.
Eastern birds seem to lack white wing patches (at least the depicted phoenicuroides, semirufus, rufiventris) and show more red.
“Northern” hybrids show less black than this bird (and are more like Eastern Common), but an aterrimus × phoenicurus might just approach this...
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Old Wednesday 23rd January 2008, 07:49   #19
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Thanks everyone for all your input and thoughts on this bird; much appreciated.

Cheers, BobTag
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Old Wednesday 6th February 2008, 14:51   #20
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Did this thread get a mention? It may contain one or two additional links.
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