AskDefine | Define redwing

Dictionary Definition



1 North American blackbird with scarlet patches on the wings [syn: red-winged blackbird, Agelaius phoeniceus]
2 small European thrush having reddish flanks [syn: Turdus iliacus]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. A small thrush, Turdus iliacus, native to Eurasia. It has a white eye stripe and the feathers under its wings are red.

Extensive Definition

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.
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. The binomial name derives from the Latin words Turdus, "thrush", and ile "flank".
The Redwing has two subspecies:
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 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.


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,


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.
redwing in Bulgarian: Беловежд дрозд
redwing in Czech: Drozd cvrčala
redwing in Welsh: Coch Dan-aden
redwing in Danish: Vindrossel
redwing in German: Rotdrossel
redwing in Spanish: Turdus iliacus
redwing in French: Grive mauvis
redwing in Icelandic: Skógarþröstur
redwing in Italian: Turdus iliacus
redwing in Lithuanian: Baltabruvis strazdas
redwing in Hungarian: Szőlőrigó
redwing in Dutch: Koperwiek
redwing in Dutch Low Saxon: Schatliester (Turdus iliacus)
redwing in Japanese: ワキアカツグミ
redwing in Norwegian: Rødvingetrost
redwing in Norwegian Nynorsk: Raudvengjetrost
redwing in Polish: Droździk
redwing in Russian: Белобровик
redwing in Finnish: Punakylkirastas
redwing in Swedish: Rödvingetrast
redwing in Turkish: Kızıl ardıç kuşu
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