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Latin Name: Turdus iliacus

The redwing is a winter visitor to the UK from Scandinavia and Iceland. They usually arrive late September and stay until around March time before going back to their breeding grounds. They are part of the Thrush family.


Brown under parts, yellowish eyebrow, spotted breast and red flanks and underwing. The males and females are similar while the Juveniles have buff coloured spots on their backs. The red under wing is most noticeable when the bird is in flight. They are slightly smaller than the Song Thrush, and is the UK's smallest thrush.


Animal Facts

In Britain: September-March

Statistics: 21cm long, wing span 33-35cm, weight 55-75g

Habitat: In the UK they will be found in local woods, they do not usually visit gardens however if you have fruit trees or hedges with berries in your garden you may see individuals.

Food: Insects, worms, snails and slugs as well as fruits and berries.

Breeding: They breed in conifer and birch tree forests and nest in trees, bushes, tree stump and banks. The nest is made of twigs, moss, grass and lichen and is lined with mud and grass. The female lays between 2-8 eggs during the months of April-May and they are incubated for 11-16 days. The young fledge in 10-15 days. A few breed in Northern Scotland.

Conservation Status

Least Concern

Distribution: In the UK around 685,000 individuals winter in the UK.

Behaviour: Both male and female feed the young. They often join with flocks of Fieldfares. When migrating they form loose flocks of 10-200 birds and often feed with Fieldfares, Blackbirds and Starlings. They do not usually return to the same wintering areas.

Conservation Status: Large populations so they are of least concern. Small populations in the UK has the RSPB listing them at an Amber Status - for an explanation of the RSPB Status - click here.


See Also


Winter Migrants





By: Tracey Park Section: Wildlife Key:
Page Ref: redwing Topic: Birds  Last Updated: 03/2010

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