Redwing Facts - Information About Redwing
Redwing - Turdus Iliacus
The Redwing is a winter visitor to the UK from Northern Europe.It is an extremely rare breeder in far northern Scotland. During winter it is fairly common throughout the UK. It is a small Thrush
, similar in size to our Song Thrush
, but when seen well is far more striking in plumage.
- Adult males and females are alike.
- The Redwing is a common thrush in winter if looked for in the right habitat.
- It is a small brightly marked thrush compared to Song and Mistle Thrush.
- The Redwing is similar in size to Song Thrush.
- Upperparts and short tail are earth brown, darker in tone than Song Thrush.
- Many of the birds appearing here in winter are first year birds, these show buff white tips to the tertials (the feathers on the folded wing that sit on the back).
- The head is superbly patterned with a brown crown, dark eyestripe, broad white supercilium, bright white sub-moustachial stripe and black moustacial stripe.
- The brown ear coverts are flecked with white and the pale chin and throat are flecked with fine black streaking.
- The bill is two toned, yellow orange base with black tip.
- The underparts are white, generously streaked with dark brown whilst the flanks are a bright rusty red.
- Undertail coverts are white with varying amounts of brown flecking on the sides.
- In flight the bird appears fairly short tailed and the breast sides and underwing coverts are a rich rusty red.
- Bill is yellow with dark tip, eye dark, legs pale.
- Juveniles appear from April onwards and are similar to adults, however we are very unlikely to see these unless in a breeding area.
- Two tone bill, yellow and black, eye black, legs pale.
Status and Distribution
The Redwing occurs throughout the British Isles in winter. It starts arriving in September with first landfall on the east coast, it then starts to filter through the country in the following weeks/months. We have a small breeding population of approximately 100 pairs but these are confined to the far north in the Scottish Highlands. Winter populations stand at around a million individuals.
Redwings occur in all habitat types throughout the UK, woodlands, parks, gardens, farmland, hedgerows indeed any open country habitat with suitable scrub.
In the garden, like all thrushes, the Redwing enjoys snails, earthworms, Mealworms
, as well as Suet
and Fat Balls
Several call notes; most often on cold Autumn nights during migration, a drawn out buzzy ‘speee’.