Species: Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

Family: Thrushes and Chats (TURDIDAE)

Category: Birds

Location: Widespread

A. Birds

More extensive information on birds can be found in a separate blog post.

B. Thrushes and Chats (TURDIDAE)

Thrushes are predominantly unspecialised, omnivorous, ground foragers. Many are brown, the colour of turds, hence the family name. Most are monogamous, some being highly gregarious in the non-breeding season like our Winter thrushes, the Redwings and Fieldfares. Thrushes are melodious singers, and among the earliest contributors to the dawn chorus.

C. Redwing (Turdus iliacus)

There's no mistaking this small member of the thrush family. When seen close-up - as in this photograph - the cream-coloured stripe above its eye is very clear. Note also the delicate, red dappling on its flank, just under the wing, which contributes to its name.

Redwings are usually winter visitors to Britain. Few Redwings nest here. They feed on invertebrates and, in winter and autumn, berries.

In the UK, the Redwing has a AMBER status, and it is classed as Near Threatened in Europe and the rest of the world. Both classifications reflect its falling population.

These smallish birds migrate at night. If you are blessed with good hearing, you can hear their thin-sounding 'tseep' calls overhead, particularly in the east of England as they arrive from Europe in the autumn, and depart again in the spring.

Redwings have a variety of local names in Britain such as the Norway thrush, the redwing throlly, the golden thrush, the winter thrush, the swinepipe and the wind thrush.

The Redwing is listed on the IUCN Birds of Conservation Concern: Amber List. It is protected under Schedule 1, Part 1, of The Wildlife & Countryside Act, 1981.



The small member of the thrush family has a cream stripe over its eyes, and red under the wings.

This individual was ringed in the Cemetery on December 2nd 2021.