name = Redwing
status = LC | status_system = IUCN3.1
status_ref = IUCN2006|assessors=BirdLife International|year=2004|id=51606|title=Turdus iliacus|downloaded=12 May 2006 Database entry includes justification for why this species is of least concern]

image_width = 240px
image_caption = Adult "T. i. iliacus"
regnum = Animalia
phylum = Chordata
classis = Aves
ordo = Passeriformes
familia = Turdidae
genus = "Turdus"
species = "T. iliacus"
binomial = "Turdus iliacus"
binomial_authority = Linnaeus, 1766

The Redwing ("Turdus iliacus") is a bird in the thrush family Turdidae, native to Europe and Asia, slightly smaller than the related Song Thrush.


This species was first described by Linnaeus in his "Systema naturae" in 1758 under its current scientific name. [la icon cite book | last=Linnaeus | first=C | authorlink=Carolus Linnaeus | title=Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. | publisher=Holmiae. (Laurentii Salvii). | date=1758| quote =T. alis subtus flavescentibus, rectricibus tribus lateralibus apice utrinque albis.|pages=168]

The English name derives from the bird's red underwing. It is not closely related to the Red-winged Blackbird, a North American species sometimes nicknamed "redwing", which is an icterid, not a thrush.cite book |title=New World Blackbirds: The Icterids (Helm Identification Guides) |last= Jaramillo |first=Alvaro |coauthors=Burke, Peter |publisher=Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd|year=1997 |id= ISBN 0-7136-4333-1] The binomial name derives from the Latin words "Turdus", "thrush", and "ile" "flank".cite web|title=Redwing "Turdus iliacus " [Linnaeus, 1766 ] |work= BTO Birdfacts |url= |publisher= BTO |accessdate=2008-01-28]

The Redwing has two subspecies:
*"T. i. iliacus", the nominate subspecies described by Linnaeus, which breeds in mainland Eurasia.
*"T. i. coburni" described by Richard Bowdler Sharpe in 1901, which breeds in Iceland and the Faroe Islands and winters from western Scotland and Ireland south to northern Spain. It is darker overall, and marginally larger than the nominate form.


It is 20–24 cm long with a wingspan of 33–34.5 cm and a weight of 50–75 g. The sexes are similar, with plain brown backs and with dark brown spots on the white underparts. The most striking identification features are the red flanks and underwing, and the creamy white stripe above the eye.Snow, D. W. & Perrins, C. M. (1998). "The Birds of the Western Palearctic" Concise Edition. OUP ISBN 0-19-854099-X.] del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Christie, D., eds. (2005). "Handbook of the Birds of the World" Vol. 10. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona ISBN 84-87334-72-5.] Clement, P., & Hathway, R. (2000). "Thrushes" Helm Identification Guides, London ISBN 0-7136-3940-7.]

The male has a varied short song, and a whistling flight call.

Distribution and habitat

It breeds in northern regions of Europe and Asia, from Iceland south to northernmost Scotland, and east through Scandinavia, the Baltic States, northern Poland and Belarus, and through most of Russia to about 165°E in Chukotka Autonomous Okrug. In recent years it has expanded its range slightly, both in eastern Europe where it now breeds south into northern Ukraine, and in southern Greenland, where the Qaqortoq area was colonised in 1990–1991.

It is often replaced by the related Ring Ouzel in areas of higher altitude.cite book |title=The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs|author=Evans G|pages=p. 78|year=1972 |publisher=Warne |location=London |isbn=0-7232-0060-2]

It is migratory, wintering in western, central and southern Europe, northwest Africa, and southwest Asia east to northern Iran. Birds in some parts of the west of the breeding range (particularly southwestern Norway) may be resident, not migrating at all, while those in the far east of the range migrate at least 6,500–7,000 km to reach their wintering grounds.

There are two records of vagrants from the northeast coast of North America.


Migrating and wintering birds often form loose flocks of ten to 200 or more birds, often feeding together with Fieldfares, Blackbirds, and Starlings, sometimes also with Mistle Thrushes, Song Thrushes, and Ring Ouzels. Unlike the Song Thrush, the more nomadic Redwing, does not tend to return regularly to the same wintering areas.cite book | last = Snow | first = David |coauthors= Perrins, Christopher M (editors)| title = The Birds of the Western Palearctic concise edition (2 volumes) | publisher = Oxford University Press |year = 1998| location =Oxford | isbn = 0-19-854099-X p1215–1218]


It breeds in conifer and birch forest and tundra. Redwings nest in shrubs or on the ground, laying four to six eggs in a neat nest. The eggs are typically 2.6 x 1.9 centimetres in size and weigh 4.6 grammes, of which 5% is shell, and hatch after 12–13 days. The chicks fledge at 12–15 days, but the young remain dependent on their parents for a further 14 days.

A Russian study of blood parasites showed that all the Fieldfares, Redwings and Song Thrushes sampled carried haematozoans, particularly "Haemoproteus" and "Trypanosoma".cite journal|last= Palinauskas |first= Vaidas |coauthors = Markovets, Mikhail Yu; Kosarev, Vladislav V; Efremov, Vladislav D; Sokolov Leonid V; Valkiûnas, Gediminas |month= |year=2005 |title= Occurrence of avian haematozoa in Ekaterinburgand Irkutsk districts of Russia |journal= Ekologija |volume= 4|issue= |pages= 8–12 ]


It is omnivorous, eating a wide range of insects and earthworms all year, supplemented by berries in autumn and winter, particularly of rowan "Sorbus aucuparia" and hawthorn "Crataegus monogyna".


The Redwing has an extensive range, estimated at 10 million square kilometres (3.8 million square miles), and a large population, including an estimated 31 to 42 million individuals in Europe alone. The species is not believed to approach the thresholds for the population decline criterion of the IUCN Red List (i.e., declining more than 30% in ten years or three generations), and is therefore evaluated as Least Concern. Numbers can be adversely affected by severe winters, which may cause heavy mortality, and cold wet summers, which reduce breeding success.


External links

* [ Ageing and sexing (PDF) by Javier Blasco-Zumeta]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Redwing — Red wing ( w?ng ), n. (Zo[ o]l.) A European thrush ({Turdus iliacus}). Its under wing coverts are orange red. Called also {redwinged thrush}. (b) A North American passerine bird ({Agelarius ph[oe]niceus}) of the family {Icterid[ae]}. The male is… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Redwing — Redwing, Hauptstadt der Grafschaft Goodhue des nordamerikan. Staates Minnesota, am obern Ende der Pepinsee genannten Verbreiterung des Mississippi, Bahnknotenpunkt, hat Tonwarenindustrie, Lehrerseminar, Weizenhandel und (1900) 7525 Einw …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • redwing — ● redwing nom féminin Pêche à chair blanche …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • redwing — [red′wiŋ΄] n. 1. a small European thrush (Turdus iliacus) with an orange red patch on the underside of the wings ☆ 2. RED WINGED BLACKBIRD …   English World dictionary

  • Redwing — Filmdaten Deutscher Titel Redwing – Flucht vor den schwarzen Droiden Originaltitel Starship …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Redwing — Recorded as Readwin, Readwing, Redwin, and Redwing, this is a surname of truly ancient English origins. It has nothing whatsoever to do with a bird, red or otherwise, but derives from the pre 5th century personal name Raed wine. This translates… …   Surnames reference

  • redwing — /ˈrɛdwɪŋ/ (say redwing) noun a European thrush, Turdus iliacus, having chestnut red flank and axillary feathers …   Australian English dictionary

  • Redwing — baltabruvis strazdas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Turdus iliacus angl. Redwing vok. Rotdrossel …   Paukščių anatomijos terminai

  • redwing — baltabruvis strazdas statusas T sritis zoologija | vardynas atitikmenys: lot. Turdus iliacus angl. redwing vok. Rotdrossel, f rus. белобровик, m; дрозд белобровик, m pranc. grive mauvis, f ryšiai: platesnis terminas – tikrieji strazdai …   Paukščių pavadinimų žodynas

  • redwing — noun Date: 1657 1. a European thrush (Turdus iliacus syn. T. musicus) having the underwing coverts red 2. red winged blackbird …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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