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;
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