Search This Blog

Thursday, December 29, 2016

Common Redpolls are Coming Your Way!

Common Redpoll, male

Common Redpoll, female, who is about to

dive off the perch to go to our feeder.

Common Redpolls are seen in flocks and move or "irrupt" down into the U.S. when their winter food supply is scarce. 

Attract them with feeders that allow for multiple birds to feed at once. They like hulled sunflower, which we are feeding here, and Nyjer (thistle) seed and finch mixes.

Common Redpolls have recently been sighted in NH, MA and northern New England and the upper Midwest and West. Most are still in Canada now. What a treat to see these little "irruptive" red-capped finches from far northern areas (they breed in Canada and AK) who move from their usual winter range when their food supply of seeds and cones is sparse.

There is another, less commonly seen, species of redpoll, called Hoary Redpoll, which also can move down into the northern parts of the U.S. in winter. Hoary vs. Common Redpoll is a very tricky ID. Here's the page on Hoary Redpoll with 8 photos, in our The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, which gives you all the most complete clues you need on Hoary Redpolls. There are 10 photos and 2 pages on the ID of Common Redpoll in our new guide. What, you didn't get The Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America for Christmas? You can always use those gift cards for it. Congratulations, and enjoy, to those of you who did get our new guide from Santa, you're all set to nail those redpoll IDs.

No comments: