©Jon Hawkins Surrey Hills Photography

Redwing with hawthorn berry

Redwing feeding on hawthorn berries ©Chris Gomersall/2020VISION


Scientific name: Turdus iliacus
The redwing is a winter visitor, enjoying the feast of seasonal berries the UK's hedgerows, gardens and parks have to offer. Look out for the distinctive orangey-red patches under its wings.

Species information


Length: 21cm
Wingspan: 34cm
Weight: 63g
Average lifespan: 2 years

Conservation status

Classified in the UK as Amber under the Birds of Conservation Concern 5: the Red List for Birds (2021). Protected in the UK under the Wildlife and Countryside Act, 1981. Listed as Near Threatened on the global IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

When to see

September to April


The redwing is a small thrush that visits the UK in the winter to feast on berry-laden bushes in hedgerows, orchards, parks and gardens. Redwings migrate here at night - on clear evenings listen out for their 'tsee' call overhead. They can often be spotted in flocks with fieldfares, moving from bush to bush looking for food. Apples and berry-producing bushes like hawthorn may attract redwings into the garden.

How to identify

The redwing is dark brown above and white below, with a black-streaked breast and distinctive orangey-red flanks and underwing, which the similar song thrush lacks. It has a very smart face pattern, with a white eyebrow stripe and dark brown cheeks.


A widespread winter visitor.

Did you know?

A tiny population of redwings breed in the UK, but most of our birds come from Iceland and Scandinavia in the winter.

How people can help

The Wildlife Trusts work closely with farmers and landowners to ensure that our wildlife is protected and to promote wildlife-friendly practices. By working together, we can create Living Landscapes: networks of habitats stretching across town and country that allow wildlife to move about freely and people to enjoy the benefits of nature. Support this greener vision for the future by joining your local Wildlife Trust.


Redwings by Tom Hibbert