Redwing (Icelandic)

Turdus iliacus coburni


eBird Checklist S80243928
Capisic Pond Park
Cumberland, Maine, United States
Search this location, Illustrated Checklist
Latitude and Longitude 43.6657, -70.3073 Map

Not specified
Not specified

Media notes

Observation details

For discussion of subspecies, this bird’s plumage details seem to fall in a gray area. Lightly marked coburni and heavily marked iliacus can both show half-blurry markings on off-white upper breast and flanks, but the bird’s legs and undertail coverts might tip the scale, as they are important for distinguishing ambiguous individuals like this. The anterior tarsal scale is brown-tinged pink, the posterior scale is brown, and the scutate phalangeal scales are dusky brown. The UTCs are heavily marked by brown sides on each feather, but this isn’t immediately apparent as the undertail is rarely in full view*. A case can be made for nominate race simply because this isn’t a slam-dunk coburni, but there is a fair number of similar birds breeding in Iceland, assuming that those are all coburni (see and and I’d even say that this bird has darker feet and more heavily marked UTCs than many confirmed coburni birds, including the ones labeled ‘Icelandic’ on the redwing’s eBird species profile. This observation was made on a clear, sunny day. Direct sunlight makes the upperparts look deceptively pale, and the buffy margins to the underpart markings are easily washed out (probably rarely happens in its typical breeding and wintering ranges, just guessing). But even with lighting accounted for, I really can’t tell if the overall colors favor iliacus or coburni. While the plumage falls within variation of both subspecies, I have yet to find any photos of nominate birds whose feet are anywhere near this dark. I’m calling it a coburni for now. However, seeing that the NH bird from 2016 was determined to be iliacus, I’d be happy to correct this ID if/when the experts announce a different verdict! *See this shot by L. Robinson’s for a more direct - but still partially obscured - view of the UTC markings:

Technical Information

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Lens model
EF600mm f/4L IS II USM +1.4x III
Focal length
840 mm
Shutter speed
1/3000 sec
Flash did not fire
Original file size
4791 x 3194

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