Kindling Neighborly Connections between People and Nature.

Tuesday, December 17, 2019

Arctic Wild Neighbors: Common redpoll

Common redpoll at Ives Run Rec Area 12/22/2018
The common redpoll is another bird of the arctic tundra. In fact, this arctic species can be found around the entire circumference of the arctic from Canada to Siberia!

Fortunately for us, redpolls are an irruptive species. When food is sparse in the far north large flocks may make their way south in winter; even south of Pennsylvania.

Common redpoll at Ives Run Rec Area 12/22/2018
During the breeding season they'll eat lots of insects and spiders, yet throughout the winter their diet consists largely of seeds. Redpolls enjoy birch catkins. They are also quite fond of the catkins of speckled alder trees, as I've come to know through my observations of one sizeable flock about a year ago at Ives Run Recreation Area. Hammond Lake is lined with alders for a good portion of it so its a great place to get a look at redpolls when they're in town as well as other finches like American goldfinches and pine siskins. 

 Often its the distinctive "chit-chit-chit-chit-dzzzzz!" call that gives their presence away to the attentive observer of nature.

These wild neighbors are small, energetic, and flighty birds, and they move in flocks. I've never witnessed a solitary redpoll. If there's only one redpoll its probably in the mix with a flock of siskins or goldfinches.

For more interesting facts about the common redpoll, click this link.

Common redpoll at Ives Run Rec Area 12/22/2018

Common redpoll at Ives Run Rec Area 12/22/2018

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