The Black Redstart (Phoenicurus ochruros) is a small passerine bird in the redstart genus Phoenicurus. Like its relatives, it was formerly classed as a member of the Thrush family (Turdidae), but is now known to be an Old World flycatcher (Muscicapidae).
There are a number of subspecies which differ mainly in underpart colours of the adult males; different authorities accept between five and seven subspecies. They can be separated into three major groups, according to morphology, biogeography, and mtDNA cytochrome b sequence data.
P. o. phoenicuroides group. basal central and eastern Asian forms which diverged from the ancestral stock as the species slowly spread west (c.3-1.5 mya). Females and juveniles light grey-brown.
The Black Redstart is 13–14.5 cm in length and 12–20 g in weight, similar to the Common Redstart. The adult male is overall dark grey to black on the upperparts and with a black breast; the lower rump and tail are orange-red, with the two central tail feathers dark red-brown. The belly and undertail are either blackish-grey (western subspecies; see Systematics, below) or orange-red (eastern subspecies); the wings are blackish-grey with pale fringes on the secondaries forming a whitish panel (western subspecies) or all blackish (eastern subspecies). The female is grey (western subspecies) to grey-brown (eastern subspecies) overall except for the orange-red lower rump and tail, greyer than the Common Redstart; at any age the grey axillaries and underwing coverts are also distinctive (in the Common Redstart these are buff to orange-red). One-year old males are similar to females but blacker; the whitish wing panel of the western subspecies does not develop until the second year.