Species profile

Name: the redwing (Turdus iliacus) is a member of the thrush family.

Appearance: redwings look similar to song thrushes, but have a creamy strip above their eyes and red-orange patches on their wings – hence the name!

Size: they measure around 20 cm long with a wingspan of 30 cm and a weight of 50 to 75 grams.

Diet: redwings are omnivores, eating a wide range of insects and earthworms year-round. These are supplemented by berries in autumn and winter.

Did you know: redwings are migrating birds that start to search for new feeding grounds in autumn. They fly at night and use their distinctive ‘tseep’ calls to keep in contact with one another. Migrating redwings often form flocks of up to 200 or more birds. These flocks can include other species such as fieldfares, blackbirds, starlings, and song thrushes, and can be seen feasting on berries in hedgerows and woodland.

Location: they breed in the tundra and conifer and birch forests of northern Europe – from Iceland to Russia. They migrate to more southerly regions in search of berries and other food in winter.

Where to see redwings

According to reports submitted to WildSide, you can see redwings in the following places:

Place Chance to see User rating No. reports

Photo credit: WildSide team member Chris White

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