- any of several small, Old World thrushes, usually with reddish-brown tails, especially Phoenicurus phoenicurus (European redstart).
- any of several fly-catching, New World warblers, especially Setophaga ruticilla (American redstart), having black and white plumage with reddish-orange patches.
- any European songbird of the genus Phoenicurus, esp P. phoenicurus, in which the male has a black throat, orange-brown tail and breast, and grey back: family Muscicapidae (thrushes, etc)
- any North American warbler of the genus Setophaga, esp S. ruticilla
type of bird, 1560s, from red (adj.1) + start “tail,” from Old English steort. Cf. German Rotsterz.