528. Phoenieurus auroreus

(528) Phoenicurus auroreus (Pall.).
Phoenicurus auroreus, Fauna B. I., Birds, 2nd ed. vol. ii, p. 71.
The Daurian Redstart breeds from Lake Baikal through East Siberia, Mongolia, Manchuria and Korea to Japan and to North¬-East China. To the South it has been found breeding as far as Tibet.
The only record of this beautiful Redstart’s breeding within our limits is that of Col. P. M. Bailey, who writes (Journ. Bomb. Nat. Hist. Soc. vol. xxii, p. 368, 1913) :—“Two nests containing four and three eggs were found. One was on the ground under a root at Kong-Se-Ka, 12,500 feet, on the 8th June and the other in a hole in a wall at 11,000 feet between Yen-ching and the Kia-la on the 10th June.”
La Touche found it very common in North-East Chihli during the breeding season and had many nests brought to him in May, June and early July containing four to six eggs in the complete clutches. The nests he describes as “shallow rough pads, or cups made of moss, soft grass-strips, and feathers (pheasant’s and, in one instance, domestic fowl’s). They were all taken from holes in walls or rocks.”
The eggs, which La Touche very kindly gave me, vary in the most extraordinary way and are most interesting, for, this particular Redstart having been proved beyond all doubt to lay such very varied types of eggs, it shows how very careful one would have to be before discarding alleged eggs of some of the less well-known Redstarts.
The following are the principal types of eggs laid ;—
1. Ground pure white, speckled with light brick-red and with a few small blotches of rather darker red, the markings forming rough zones round the larger end and sparse elsewhere.
2. Ground pale pink, more profusely speckled with red, paler than in (1), and forming better-defined rings at the big end.
3. Pale blue, about the same in depth of colour as a pale egg of a common English Thrush, similarly marked with dull light reddish blotches, most numerous in a ring round the larger end.
4. Duller blue, with a livid grey tinge, indistinctly speckled with pale reddish freckles, sparse everywhere, but more numerous in the usual zone.
5. The same blue as (4), but with larger markings of more definite shape and darker colour, as well as being much more numerous everywhere. The indications of a ring at the larger end are hardly noticeable in these eggs.
In shape these eggs are : (1), (2) and (3) rather long ovals and in (4) and (5) shorter, broader ovals. The texture is fine but not very close, and the surface varies from dull to fairly glossy.
Fifty eggs average 19.0 x 14.1 mm. : maxima 19.1 x 14.3 and 19.0 x 15.0 mm. ; minima 17.0 x 13.2 mm.

The Nidification Of Birds Of The Indian Empire
Baker, Edward Charles Stuart. The nidification of birds of the Indian Empire. Vol. 2. 1933.
Title in Book: 
528. Phoenieurus auroreus
Spp Author: 
Book Author: 
Edward Charles Stuart Baker
Page No: 
Common name: 
Daurian Redstaet
Daurian Redstart
Phoenicurus auroreus
Vol. 2

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