The Daurian redstart (Phoenicurus auroreus) is a small passerine bird from temperate Asia. In Japan, it is known as jōbitaki. The species was first described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1776.
Description and systematics
Like all typical redstarts, they are strongly sexually dimorphic. Breeding males have a grey crown and nape with lighter forehead and crown-sides, a black face and chin, brownish mantle and wings and a large white wing patch; the chest, lower back and rump are orange, and the tail is black with orange sides. Juvenile males are similarly patterned but much duller and less clearly marked.
Females are warm brown above, paler below, have an orange rump and tail sides, and have a large white wing patch similar to the males. Bill, eye, legs and feet are black in both sexes.
It was formerly classed as a member of the thrush family (Turdidae), but is now generally considered to be an Old World flycatcher (Muscicapidae). This species is divided into two subspecies, the eastern P. a. auroreus and the western P. a. leucopterus.
It belongs to a close-knit Eurasian clade which also includes the black redstart (P. ochruros), Hodgson’s redstart (P. hodgsoni), the white-winged redstart (P. erythrogastrus) – which may be especially closely related to P. auroreus – and perhaps the Ala Shan redstart (P. alaschanicus). These all diverged during the latter part of the Late Pliocene and the earliest Early Pleistocene, some 3–1.5 million years ago, during onset of the Quaternary glaciation.