The redwing ‘’Turdus iliacus” is a winter bird, only very few pairs nest in the UK. The British breeding population of redwing is usually confined to northern Scotland, where nesting was first recorded in 1925. The population increased slowly, and now numbers some 100 pairs in most years. There is little evidence of a westward spread in range, and it is speculated that Britain’s breeding birds are migrants which have simply failed to return to Scandinavia, rather than being the vanguard of extensive colonization. Isolated breeding has been recorded as far south as Kent.
Two distinct populations reach Britain each winter, one from Scandinavia and Russia, the other from Iceland, and further south in Europe. The Icelandic birds spend winter in the west, around the Irish Sea, the Scandinavian birds in the east. Normally, red wings reaching in the UK in the month of October. Although at first glance the two populations are very similar, the Icelandic birds are in fact distinctly darker and larger. In the Autumn, they live in hedges and orchards and are often seen with the flock of fieldfares, starlings, common blackbirds, ring ouzels, Mistle thrush, and song thrush.
The greater size gives longer wings, necessary to carry them on the lengthy, overseas migration. The Icelandic birds have recently colonized the Faeroes and may also be responsible for some British breeding birds. Although a ground-feeder, flocks often gather on berry bushes such as hawthorn or ivy and feed until the supply is exhausted. In-flight, the smallness of this species can at times make it appear rather lark-like, particularly in a migrating flock.
The tawny-red underwing can be obvious and quite unlike the yellow-buff of the song thrush. A standing bird shows distinctive lines or streaks on an almost white breast. Dull red flanks are usually visible. Note paler stripes on the face. However, slightly smaller and darker than the song thrush, the distinctive shade of olive on the upper parts is a good feature once noted. When spring starts, the redwing leaves the UK and builds their nest in boggy woodland and birch forest.
Length: The average length is 21 cm.
Wingspan: An average the wingspan is 33-34.5
Weight: An average bird size is 55-75g
Where to look: Open country, gardens, grassy fields, hedges, and orchards.
Nest: Normally they build the nest of grasses and twigs in trees or bushes.
Eggs: The clutch contains 5-6 eggs, often greenish, with red-brown markings, about the size of 2.6 x 1.9 cm and weigh 4.6 g
Chick: The baby bird, fledge at 12 to 15 days, but remain dependent on
Food: The main food consists of worms, insects, rowan, hawthorn, apple, but also eat berries in winter. In case of less food, redwings took orchards in hunt of bite to eat.
Voice: Redwing voice is simply a fluty song
Call: Redwing has short but distinctive seep seep seep calls.
Subspecies: there are two species of redwing, T. i. iliacus, mainly breeds in mainland Eurasia. The other species is T. i. coburni, a migratory bird, found in Iceland, Faroe Island, Scotland, Ireland to northern Spain.
Conservation: Climate change is the main cause of a declining number of birds in the UK, and it is classed as a Red List species of conservation concern.
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