Redwing Bird: Identification, Migration Patterns, and Feeding Tips

Redwing Bird: Identification, Migration Patterns, and Feeding Tips

The Redwing (Turdus iliacus) is a small bird and a member of the thrush family (Turdidae). Its appearance is very similar to the Song Thrush but is distinguished by its dark-brown supercillium, streaked rather than spotted under parts and chestnut red flanks and under wings, so it’s not difficult to see where the Redwing derives its name from.

Redwings are commonly encountered as a winter bird and they migrate from Iceland, Scandinavia and Eastern Europe and flock in there hundred & thousands to the UK. They arrive after dusk on a clear night in October and if you are lucky enough to catch them as they pass by, listen out for their call as it is a high-pitched “zztseep” sound.

They roam across the UK's countryside, feeding in fields and hedgerows, rarely visiting gardens, except in the coldest weather when snow covers the fields. In the harsh weather, they will join the Blackbirds and Fieldfares in search of food such as berries and fallen fruit. During extreme weather conditions, the Redwing can often be forced in pursuit of food in the environment of a home garden and will readily take Haith's softfood mixes, especially Golden Chorus, if spread on the ground.
The Redwing is classed as a Red List species due to recent population decline, and in order to help these and other winter thrushes we can provide them with food offerings from our own gardens.
At Haith's, we have two super-clean mixes for you to try; our Prosecto Insectivorous Mix and Golden Chorus - these are both crumbly moist soft-food mixes, that offer lots of nutritious goodness (which is 100% edible) and they also contain fruit, which Redwings will love.

The Redwing bird

It is important that we provide as much food as we can during the autumn and winter time so that the Redwing will continue to grace us with its presence, whatever the weather, as this glorious little thrush is such a joy to be heard and seen.

Written by Tina Jakes

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