It is about 13 cm long. The male's body is covered with a smoky black-gray plumage, while the female looks like a female Common Redstart, but is darker. Both sexes have a rusty-red tail. The central uppertail feathers are dark gray, expecially in juveniles. Young birds have gray plumage, lighter than the adult males'.
It eats mainly insects, captured in flight or on the ground, and earthworms; or even small berries. The male's song resembles the curling of a sheet of paper. The Black Redstart's natural habitat are rocky zones in the mountains, but it often nests in urban and suburban zones, expecially under the roofs. The nest is made of twigs, moss and straw. The female lays about five white eggs in the nest. Both the parents take care of the chicks, that learn to fly when they are about one month old.