Redwing Turdus iliacus   [Linnaeus, 1766]

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Order: Passeriformes Family: Turdidae
BTO Codes: RE, REDWI EURING No: 12010
Number in Britain: 650 thousand birds (Winter)
Conservation Status:
European: Not a species of concern(Winte
Global: (Details)
Status in UK: (A)  Migrant Breeder, Passage/Winter Visitor
Subspecies: iliacus (BW), coburni (BW) recorded in Britain (of 2 subsp. in the world)
Length: 21 cm Wingspan: 34 cm Weight: M/F: 63 g    
Scientific name from: L.: turdus=a thrush and L.: iliacus=of the flanks (from ile=flank)
World Distribution: BREEDS: n Eurasia, WINTERS: south to s Europe
Habitat: Northern forest & tundra scrub
Diet: Invertebrates, also berries in autumn and winter
TitBit: 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.  
Identification Tips:
  Images from IBC or search flickr
  Videos from IBC
  Sound from xeno-canto
Crossley ID photos BTO ID Workshop

Population and Distribution

Population Trend: No population trend available
Distribution: Atlas Mapstore   
British Population Size:
    Winter: 650 thousand individuals in 1981 - 1984
    Summer: 10 to . Pairs in
    First Record: Recorded in Medieval times [Fossil evidence from Devensian (last) glaciation, 10-120,000 yr ago]
    First Breeding Record: Moray 1932
    Latest Survey: Musgrove, A. et al. (2013) British Birds 106:64-100
    Conservation Status: RED because Recent Breeding Population Decline (1969-2007),
   Previous Assessments: 2002-2007 AMBER     1996-2001 AMBER  
   Races of Concern: iliacus RED (Recent Decline), coburni GREEN
Habitat Occupancy (in the Breeding Season):
    No habitat data from BBS
Migration routes: Map of foreign ringing recoveries  and summary map from Time to Fly (in pop-up windows)
European Population Size:
    Summer: 4 to 6 million pairs   (Trend in Numbers)
Population Assesment from Birds in Europe
Distribution in Europe mapped by the EBCC Atlas
Listed on the Appendices/Schedules of: WCA(I,IV), WBD(II*), Bern(III), Bonn(II)
Survey Results: Results from BirdTrack
Results from Garden BirdWatch
Results from the Winter Farmland Bird Survey

Breeding and Survival

Egg Size: 26 x 19 mm Egg Weight: 4.9 g (of which 5 % is shell)
Number of Nest Records: 1
Clutch Size: 4 - 5 eggs
Incubation: 11- 15 days   by the: Female
Fledging: 10 - 15days as: Altricial, downy
First Clutches Laid: Unavailable
Number of Broods: 2
Number Ringed: Annual Totals
Adult Survival: 0.430       
Juvenile Survival: No data
Age at First Breeding: 1 year Typical Lifespan: 2 years
Maximum Recorded Age: 11 years 10 months 7 days (set in 1988)
Read a summary of Ringing Recoveries


Ring Size: CC
Wing Length Adult: 119.5 ± 3.4 Range 114 - 125 mm, N =9961
Juvenile: 119.0 ± 3.2 114 - 125 mm, N =10338
Male: 122.3 ± 2.0 119 - 125 mm, N =75
Female: 115.0 ± 2.2 112 - 120 mm, N =31
Weight Adult: 65.72 ± 8.16 Range 54.00 - 81.00 g , N =8150
Juvenile: 63.82 ± 8.18 51.00 - 78.00 g , N =8404
Male: 66.59 ± 7.79 55.00 - 84.00 g , N =52
Female: 62.10 ± 7.05 50.00 - 70.00 g , N =26
British Trust for Ornithology (2005) Ringing Scheme data

Other Names

Gaelic: Smeňrach-an-t-sneachda Welsh: Coch Dan-aden
Danish: Vindrossel Dutch: Koperwiek
Finnish: Punakylkirastas French: Grive mauvis
German: Rotdrossel Hungarian: Szolorigó
Icelandic: Skógarţröstur Irish: Deargán Sneachta
Italian: Tordo sassello Norwegian: Rřdvingetrost
Polish: Drozdzik Portuguese: Tordo-ruivo-comum
Spanish: Zorzal alirrojo Swedish: Rödvingetrast
Local Names: Swinepipe, Wind Thrush

For More Information...

Books and Monographs:
   Simms, E. 1978 British Thrushes Collins, London [598.911 SIM]
See Also:
Find scientific papers on Google Scholar or Scirus by clicking the icon
Wikipedia entry
HBW account (subscription required)
BirdLife species page
Recent sightings and information from BirdGuides