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Monday, November 12, 2007

Do You have Common Redpolls? Irruptive Species

We recently saw a flock of 12 Common Redpolls, cute little winter finches with red caps. These are an "irruptive" species and nest in the far north. In winters where there is a lack of seeds and nuts, they will come down into the U.S. in greater numbers. This is shaping up to be a good year for "irruptive species," because word has it, it's a poor mast (nuts and seeds) year up north. It's not so good here in New England either, there are few acorns and pine seeds. Look for many of these irruptive species, such as these Common Redpolls, to show up at your bird feeders. Keep feeders stocked with sunflower and thistle (Nyjer). Look closely among your goldfinches to pick them out. Photo above was taken at our feeders in '05. Here is a list of some irrputive species;

Pine Siskin
Common Redpoll
Pine Grosbeak
Evening Grosbeak
Red Crossbill
White-winged Crossbill

Let us know if you have Common Redpolls or any other of the Irruptive species on this list showing up in your yard. Reply to comment section below.

Photo © Lillian Stokes, 2007

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have gotten Pine Siskens for the first time in years here (southeatern PA) in my backyard at the feeders. I am looking forward to other irruptive species this winter.

Anonymous said...

Hello Don and Lilian Pine Siskins are Feeding on Thistle w/ abundant Gold finches ,also do you guys remember winter of 76 and 77 that was a good flight year also Iwas living at home feeding at the time, in a very urban area of New Jersey and getting RedPolls, Siskins, Ev Grosbeaks ,and Purple Finches, which means these Winter Finches are not restricted to just rual areas.

Thanks Kevin

kate.roche said...

From the Northwest side of Chicago - so fabulous to see my first Common Redpolls feeding upside down at the Thistle feeder. They're competing with the Goldfinches. Right now I have Juncos, housefinches, European sparrows, cardinals and doves also at the feeders. What fun!

Andrée said...

I had 5 redpolls during the snowstorm Monday. I have not seen them since (but I go to work in the dark and come home in the dark). I'm hoping I will this coming weekend. It was pretty exciting!

Barton, VT (Orleans County)

Anonymous said...

I'm watching three common redpolls eat thistle and sunflower seed at my feeders here in western MA. Looking out at the chicadees in our first real snowstorm, I said to no one in particular, "I'd like to see some siskins, please." Not two minutes later, these guys show up. I'll happily settle for redpolls!

Shelly said...

I was so excited to see my first Common Redpolls today! They were at my backyard sunflower feeder. There were 3 that paid a visit :) (I'm just south of Chicago).

Anonymous said...

On the Boxborough Christmas count (December 30, 2007) we were surprised to find a flock of about 20 redpolls at a feeder and playing in the snow on a low house roof near Boxborough Center. One of the birds looked very pale - much lighter than the other birds - and we thought it might be a Hoary Redpoll... but this would be very unusual...

Owlman said...

I've had one Pine Siskin early December and a couple of female Purple Finches here in NW New Jersey. Both of thse are new to my feeders.

Alison said...

Today is feb 7th and I had a wee Redpoll at the peanut and nyger feeders for the first time...at least that I have taken note. We are in Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada...I have some pics posted at www.alisonsgarden.blogspot.com

Anonymous said...

i live in massachussetts and i believe i saw a common redpoll clinging on my well stocked tube feeder.Are they in new england during summer?