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Redwings Abound

11/01/2010

The redwing, unknown by most non-bird watching people, is close to achieving the popularity of a robin this year, such is the large influx of this beautiful thrush-like

bird into Ireland this winter. They are here for the food and desperate they are indeed. Today one entered my green house while I was sitting there. It entered hopping along the ground fully aware of my presence. I could have picked it up it was so weak. A thaw has set in and hopefully they will survive long enough for the snow to melt and expose their natural food source. We have been feeding them here for two weeks now and their population is just hanging on. Three and four in the garden at a time. They have been feeding along side thrushes, blackbirds, starlings and finches. They seem to work the ground more thoroughly than thrushes or blackbirds in the sense that they stay in a smaller area and almost dig little holes while foraging. Blackbirds and thrushes cover more ground scattering the detritus left and right.

Near 19% of bird visitors to Ireland's gardens last year was the redwing (Oran O'Sullivan 2008/9 survey).
Key identification features: thrush-like, red under wing, rad flanks and a creamy white stripe above the eye.

See also Nature's Calendar Ireland
The photograph of the redwing was taken on January 11th, 2010.