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Turdus iliacus

Turdus iliacus (*)

Superregnum: Eukaryota
Regnum: Animalia
Subregnum: Eumetazoa
Cladus: Bilateria
Cladus: Nephrozoa
Superphylum: Deuterostomia
Phylum: Chordata
Subphylum: Vertebrata
Infraphylum: Gnathostomata
Superclassis: Tetrapoda
Cladus: Reptiliomorpha
Cladus: Amniota
Classis: Reptilia
Cladus: Eureptilia
Cladus: Romeriida
Subclassis: Diapsida
Cladus: Sauria
Infraclassis: Archosauromorpha
Cladus: Crurotarsi
Divisio: Archosauria
Subsectio: Ornithodira
Subtaxon: Dinosauromorpha
Cladus: Dinosauria
Ordo: Saurischia
Cladus: Eusaurischia
Cladus: Theropoda
Cladus: Neotheropoda
Cladus: Averostra
Cladus: Tetanurae
Cladus: Avetheropoda
Cladus: Coelurosauria
Cladus: Maniraptoromorpha
Cladus: Maniraptoriformes
Cladus: Maniraptora
Cladus: Pennaraptora
Cladus: Eumaniraptora
Cladus: Avialae
Infraclassis: Aves
Ordo: Passeriformes
Subordo: Passeri
Infraordo: Passerida
Superfamilia: Muscicapoidea

Familia: Turdidae
Genus: Turdus
Species: Turdus iliacus
Subspecies: T. i. coburni – T. i. iliacus

Turdus iliacus Linnaeus, 1758

Neotype ♂ NHRS no. 101
Designation: Gyldenstolpe in Mayr & Vaurie 1957: 181
Locus typicus: Sweden, Lappland, Kaalasluspa


Linnaeus, C. 1758. Systema Naturae per regna tria naturæ, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis, Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata. Holmiæ: impensis direct. Laurentii Salvii. i–ii, 1–824 pp DOI: 10.5962/bhl.title.542: 168. Reference page.
ICZN 1959. Opinion 551. Suppression under the plenary powers of the specific name musicus Linnaeus, 1758, as published in the combination Turdus musicus, and validation under the same powers of a neotype for Turdus iliacus Linnaeus, 1758, the Eurasian redwing (class Aves). Opinions and declarations rendered by the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature 20(18): 199–210. BHL
Mayr, E. & Vaurie, C. 1957. Proposed use of the plenary powers to suppress the specific name musicus Linnaeus, 1758, as published in the combination Turdus musicus and to approve a neotype for Turdus iliacus Linnaeus, 1758, the Eurasian redwing (class Aves). Bulletin of Zoological Nomenclature 13(6): 177–182. BHL
Gyldenstolpe, N. 1957. Designation of a Neotype for the nominal species Turdus iliacus Linnaeus, 1758 (Class Aves). In: Mayr & Vaurie 1957: 181. BHL

Vernacular names
العربية: سمنة حمراء الجناح
asturianu: Malvís gallegu
башҡортса: Ҡыҙылбауыр барҡылдаҡ
беларуская: Белабровы дрозд
български: Беловежд дрозд
brezhoneg: Drask-lann
català: Tord ala-roig
čeština: Drozd cvrčala
Cymraeg: Coch dan adain
dansk: Vindrossel
Deutsch: Rotdrossel
Ελληνικά: Κοκκινότσιχλα
English: Redwing
Esperanto: Ruĝaksela turdo
español: Zorzal alirrojo
eesti: Vainurästas
euskara: Birigarro hegal gorri
فارسی: سرخ‌بال
suomi: Punakylkirastas
føroyskt: Óðinshani
français: Grive mauvis
Gaeilge: Deargán sneachta
עברית: קיכלי לבן גבות
hrvatski: Drozd gitkavac
magyar: Szőlőrigó
հայերեն: Սպիտակահոնք կեռնեխ
íslenska: Skógarþröstur
italiano: Tordo sassello
日本語: ワキアカツグミ
ქართული: თეთრწარბა
қазақша: Аққабақ сайрақ
lietuvių: Baltabruvis strazdas
latviešu: Plukšķis
македонски: Црвен дрозд
Napulitano: Marvizzo
Nedersaksies: Schatliester
Nederlands: Koperwiek
norsk nynorsk: Raudvengtrast
norsk: Rødvingetrost
polski: Droździk
português: Tordo-ruivo
русский: Белобровик
саха тыла: Өрүөстээх чаччыгыныар
davvisámegiella: Ruksessoadjá
slovenčina: Drozd červenkastý
slovenščina: Vinski drozg
shqip: Tusha vetullbardhë
српски / srpski: Mali drozd
svenska: Rödvingetrast
Türkçe: Kızıl ardıç kuşu
татарча/tatarça: Ак кашлы баркылдык
українська: Дрізд білобровий
vèneto: Sassèl
中文: 白眉歌鶇

The redwing (Turdus iliacus) is a bird in the thrush family, Turdidae, native to Europe and the Palearctic, slightly smaller than the related song thrush.

Taxonomy and systematics

This species was first described by Carl Linnaeus in his 1758 10th edition of Systema Naturae under its current scientific name.[2]

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.[3] The binomial name derives from the Latin words turdus, "thrush", and ile "flank".[4]

About 65 species of medium to large thrushes are in the genus Turdus, characterised by rounded heads, longish, pointed wings, and usually melodious songs. Although two European thrushes, the song thrush and mistle thrush, are early offshoots from the Eurasian lineage of Turdus thrushes after they spread north from Africa, the redwing is descended from ancestors that had colonised the Caribbean islands from Africa and subsequently reached Europe from there.[5]

The redwing has two subspecies:[6][7][8]

T. i. iliacus, the nominate subspecies described by Linnaeus, which breeds in mainland Eurasia.
T. i. coburni described by Richard Bowdler Sharpe in 1901, which breeds in Iceland and the Faroe Islands and winters from western Scotland and Ireland south to northern Spain. It is darker overall, and marginally larger than the nominate form.


It is 20–24 cm long with a wingspan of 33–34.5 cm and a weight of 50–75 g. The sexes are similar, with plain brown backs and with dark brown spots on the white underparts. The most striking identification features are the red flanks and underwing, and the creamy white stripe above the eye.[6][7][8] Adults moult between June and September, which means that some start to replace their flight feathers while still feeding young.[9]

The male has a varied short song, and a whistling flight call.
Distribution and habitat
Head of T. i. coburni in Iceland

It breeds in northern regions of Europe and the Palearctic, 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.[6][7][8]

It is often replaced by the related ring ouzel in areas of higher altitude.[10]

It is migratory, wintering in western, central and southern Europe, north-west Africa, and south-west Asia east to northern Iran. Birds in some parts of the west of the breeding range (particularly south-western 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.[6][7][8]

There are multiple records of vagrants from the north-east coast of North America, as well as two sightings on the north-west coast (one in Washington in 2005, and one in Seward, Alaska in November 2011).[8]
Behaviour and ecology

Migrating and wintering birds often form loose flocks of 10 to 200 or more birds, often feeding together with fieldfares, common blackbirds, and starlings, sometimes also with mistle thrushes, song thrushes, and ring ouzels.[6][7][8] Unlike the song thrush, the more nomadic redwing does not tend to return regularly to the same wintering areas.[11]

The movement occurs in the Autumn to early Winter and they often move at night making a "Tseep" contact call that can carry a long distance.[11]
Egg, Collection Museum Wiesbaden
Nests are often constructed on the ground.

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,[4] and which hatch after 12–13 days. The chicks fledge at 12–15 days, but the young remain dependent on their parents for a further 14 days.[6][7][8]

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.[6][7][8]
Natural threats

A Russian study of blood parasites showed that all the fieldfares, redwings and song thrushes sampled carried haematozoans, particularly Haemoproteus and Trypanosoma.[12]
Status and conservation

The redwing has an extensive range, estimated at 10 million square kilometres (3.8 million square miles), and an estimated population of 26 to 40 million individuals in Europe alone. The European population forms approximately 40% of the global population, thus the very preliminary estimate of the global population is 98 to 151 million individuals. The species is 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 precautionarily uplisted to near threatened.[1] Numbers can be adversely affected by severe winters, which may cause heavy mortality, and cold wet summers, which reduce breeding success.[7]

BirdLife International (2017). "Turdus iliacus". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2017: e.T22708819A110990927. doi:10.2305/IUCN.UK.2017-1.RLTS.T22708819A110990927.en. Retrieved 12 November 2021.
Linnaeus, Carl (1758). Systema naturae per regna tria naturae, secundum classes, ordines, genera, species, cum characteribus, differentiis, synonymis, locis. Tomus I. Editio decima, reformata (in Latin). Holmiae. (Laurentii Salvii). p. 168. "T. alis subtus flavescentibus, rectricibus tribus lateralibus apice utrinque albis."
Jaramillo, Alvaro; Burke, Peter (1997). New World Blackbirds: The Icterids (Helm Identification Guides). Christopher Helm Publishers Ltd. ISBN 0-7136-4333-1.
"Redwing Turdus iliacus [Linnaeus, 1766 ]". BTO Birdfacts. BTO. Retrieved 2008-01-28.
Reilly, John (2018). The Ascent of Birds. Pelagic Monographs. Exeter: Pelagic. pp. 221–225. ISBN 978-1-78427-169-5.
Snow, D. W. & Perrins, C. M. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic Concise Edition. OUP ISBN 0-19-854099-X.
del Hoyo, J., Elliott, A., & Christie, D., eds. (2005). Handbook of the Birds of the World Vol. 10. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona ISBN 84-87334-72-5.
Clement, P., & Hathway, R. (2000). Thrushes Helm Identification Guides, London ISBN 0-7136-3940-7.
RSPB Handbook of British Birds (2014). UK ISBN 978-1-4729-0647-2
Evans G (1972). The Observer's Book of Birds' Eggs. London: Warne. p. 78. ISBN 0-7232-0060-2.
Snow, David; Perrins, Christopher M., eds. (1998). The Birds of the Western Palearctic concise edition (2 volumes). Oxford: Oxford University Press. ISBN 0-19-854099-X. p1215–1218
Palinauskas, Vaidas; Markovets, Mikhail Yu; Kosarev, Vladislav V; Efremov, Vladislav D; Sokolov Leonid V; Valkiûnas, Gediminas (2005). "Occurrence of avian haematozoa in Ekaterinburg and Irkutsk districts of Russia". Ekologija. 4: 8–12.

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