Upper parts brownish gray, tinged with olive: throat and breast bright ferruginous.
S. Rubecula, Temm. Man. d'Orn. torn. I. p. 215. Redbreast, Mont. Orn. Diet. Selb. Illust. vol. I. p. 188. pl. 46. f. 2. Bew. Brit. Birds, vol. I. p. 235.
Entire length five inches nine lines: length of the bill (from the forehead) six lines, (from the gape) eight lines and a half; of the tarsus one inch; from the carpus to the end of the wing two inches eleven lines: breadth, wings extended, nine inches two lines.
(Male). Head, and all the upper parts of the body, grayish brown with a tinge of olive: forehead, cheeks, throat, and breast, bright ferruginous red, edged round with ash-gray: belly white: greater and middle wing-coverts sometimes tipped with pale reddish orange: irides black: feet yellowish brown. (Female). Upper parts cinereous brown; the red on the breast not so bright, with the surrounding margin of ash-gray less conspicuous. (Young of the year). Upper parts olive-gray, speckled with pale reddish spots: the breast faintly tinged with reddish yellow, and marked with fine transverse streaks of olive-brown. (Egg). Groundcolour white, spotted with pale yellow brown: long. diam. nine lines and a half; trans, diam. seven lines and a half.
A common and generally diffused species. Frequents gardens and woods. Feeds on insects and worms. In song nearly all the year. Nest formed of moss, dead leaves, and stalks of plants, and lined with hair; placed on the ground, occasionally in the holes of trees and old buildings. Has often two broods in the season, the first of which is sometimes hatched as early as the end of March. Eggs five to seven in number.
(2. Phcenicura, Swains).