Family Thrushes (Turdidae)

Near Threatened

Redwing (Turdus iliacus)


French: Grive mauvis German: Rotdrossel Spanish: Zorzal alirrojo

Turdus iliacus


, 1758,

Europe “in sylvis acerosis” = Sweden


In past, sometimes referred to as T. musicus, but this name was officially suppressed#R. Date of species name has often erroneously been listed as 1766, as in HBW and elsewhere#R. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution
  • T. i. coburni Sharpe, 1901 – Iceland and Faroe Is, very locally in SE Greenland; winters in W Europe.
  • T. i. iliacus Linnaeus, 1758 – N & E Europe E across Siberia to lower R Kolyma and Altai; winters in W & S Europe, N Africa, Black and Caspian Sea Basins and adjacent SW Asia.
  • Descriptive notes

    20–24 cm; 46–80 g. Plumage is greyish-brown above, with long buffy-white supercilium; buffy-whitish below, long lines of blackish spots radiating from throat,... read more


    Song, by male from prominent high perch, a series of simple and rather monotonous phrases, each... read more


    Breeds in forest-open country mosaic in lowlands and relatively low hills, with preference for mid-... read more

    Food and feeding

    Invertebrates, also seeds and berries in autumn and winter. Animal foods include adult and larval beetles (Coleoptera) of at least eight... read more


    Early Apr to late Jul, with some latitudinal variation, from mid-May in Iceland; double-brooded. Generally solitary, but in optimal... read more


    Migratory; a few resident on Icelandic coast, Norwegian coast, in Scotland and in S Baltic region.... read more

    Status and conservation

    Not globally threatened. Currently considered Near Threatened. Generally common. Global population very roughly calculated to be c. 65,000,000–130,000,000 individuals.... read more

    Recommended citation

    Collar, N., de Juana, E. & Sharpe, C.J. (2020). Redwing (Turdus iliacus). In: del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., Sargatal, J., Christie, D.A. & de Juana, E. (eds.). Handbook of the Birds of the World Alive. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona. (retrieved from on 23 January 2020).