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Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

Redwings are picky eaters and are found in open country and hedgerows.

Common name: redwing

Scientific name: Turdus iliacus

Family: Turdidae (thrushes)


Head: distinctive creamy-white eye-stripe

Body: smallest thrush in the UK. Conspicuous reddish flanks and underwing

Where to spot

Widespread in open country and hedgerows; visits gardens in hard weather. Often found with fieldfares. A scarce breeder in northern Scotland. They are a winter visitor from October and they leave in April.


They eat worms and berries, and are known to be picky feeders.


Redwings nest in shrubs or on the ground, laying four to six eggs in a neat nest. Only the females will incubate the nest but both parents help with feeding. Due to the quick fledgling time (14 days) this allows for a second brood.   


  • Redwings are a classic night-time migrant - listen out on dark clear autumn and early winter nights, particularly in the east of the country, and you are likely to hear the thin 'tseep' of migrating redwing overhead. 
  • Many redwings that visit Britain migrate from Iceland and Scandinavia. 

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Let us know when redwings first arrive in the UK in the winter and then when they leave again in spring. Help us track the effects of weather and climate change on wildlife. Let us know what's happening near you and see your sightings on the map.

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