Black redstarts were first recorded breeding in Britain in 1923, but their population increased greatly in London during and immediately after the Second World war because the bombing created a wealth of potential breeding sites on temporary brownfield land. Although their global population is not threatened, they are one of Britain’s rarest birds.
Male Black redstarts are not similar to any other species, but female and juveniles can be confused with Redstarts. The most obvious distinguishing feature is that the breast colour of Black redstarts is very similar to the upper parts, whereas Redstarts have a more distinguishable separation between the upper and under sides, with a buff coloured breast. Redstarts are also much less likely to occur in urban areas.Record a sighting