What does a Redwing Bird Look Like?

by Victor
Published: Last Updated on
Redwing bird

The Redwing Bird (Turdus iliacus) is a migratory songbird that belongs to the thrush family. With its distinct appearance and enchanting song, this bird is a delight to observe and study. In this article, we will explore the key characteristics and appearance of the Redwing, providing readers with a comprehensive understanding of this remarkable avian species.

Physical Description:

The Redwing bird is a medium-sized bird, measuring approximately 20-23 cm in length and weighing around 50-75 grams. They have a wingspan of around 33-34 cm, and plumage displays a striking combination of colors, making it easily recognizable.

Head and Body:

The Redwing Bird has a sleek and compact body with a rounded head. The head is adorned with a dark-brown or blackish cap that extends from the bill to the nape. This cap contrasts distinctly with the bird’s creamy white eyebrow stripe and pale throat.

Wings and Tail:

The Redwing’s most prominent feature is its vibrant red patches, or “epaulets,” on the wing. These patches are located on the upper part of the wings and are visible during flight and when the wings are spread. The epaulets are bordered with yellow and black, creating a striking pattern. The tail feathers are dark brown, slightly rounded, and may display faint white tips.

Back and Underparts:

The Redwing’s back is covered in dark brown or blackish feathers, which provide excellent camouflage in its natural habitat. The underparts, including the breast and belly, are pale, with warm buff tones and subtle dark streaks. The flanks may also exhibit distinctive dark streaks.

Bill and Legs:

The Redwing possesses a slender, yellow or pale bill that is slightly curved downward. Its legs are relatively long and colored dark brown, complementing the overall appearance of the bird.

Do Redwing Bird Migration?

Yes, Redwing birds do migrate. Redwings are migratory songbirds that breed in northern regions of Europe and Asia, including countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, and Russia. During the winter months, they undertake long-distance migrations to more southerly areas, including parts of Europe.

Redwings typically migrate in large flocks, forming mixed species groups with other thrushes and songbirds. Their migration routes vary, but they generally travel southwest from their breeding grounds. In Europe, Redwings can be found in the United Kingdom, Ireland, and other countries during the winter season.

Interesting Facts About Redwing Bird:

Redwing birds are fascinating creatures with several interesting facts that make them stand out. Here are some intriguing facts about Redwing birds:

1. Plumage Variation: While Redwing birds typically have the characteristic red patches on their wings, not all individuals display the same intensity or size of red. Some Redwings may have larger, bolder red patches, while others may exhibit smaller or more subdued markings.

2. Vocalization: Redwings are known for their beautiful and melodious song. Their complex and flute-like tunes consist of a combination of clear, ringing notes and mellow warbles. Males often sing to establish territories and attract mates during the breeding season.

3. Diet: Redwings have an omnivorous diet. During the breeding season, they primarily feed on invertebrates such as insects, earthworms, and spiders. In winter, their diet shifts to include berries and fruits, making them important seed dispersers for various plant species.

4. Territorial Behavior: Male Redwings are known to fiercely defend their breeding territories. They engage in aerial displays, including flight songs and chasing intruders, to protect their preferred nesting areas and attract females.

5. Longevity: Redwings can live up to 10 years or more in the wild. Factors such as habitat quality, predation pressure, and migratory challenges can influence their lifespan.

6. Conservation Status: The Redwing is not currently considered globally threatened. However, local populations may face habitat loss, climate change impacts, and predation pressure, which can impact their abundance and distribution in certain areas.

7. Geographic Range: Redwings have a wide geographic range that extends across northern Europe and Asia. They are found in countries such as Norway, Sweden, Finland, Russia, and various parts of Europe during the winter season.

These intriguing facts shed light on the unique characteristics and behaviors of Redwing birds, highlighting their importance in the natural world and making them a captivating subject of study for bird enthusiasts and researchers alike.


The Redwing is a captivating songbird characterized by its distinctive plumage, including the striking red patches on its wings, dark cap, and pale eyebrow stripe. Its melodious song and migratory behavior further contribute to its charm and appeal. By understanding the physical characteristics and unique features of the Redwing, bird enthusiasts can better appreciate the beauty and ecological significance of this remarkable avian species.

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