My not-so-Common Redpolls

This topic has come up a lot this winter; all the wintering finches here this year. I am going to add on to this topic once again.

My yard in southeast Calgary has gathered a fairly respectable list; about 90 species of birds have visited it in the last 10 years. The Common Redpoll is on this list, having been seen in my yard once in 2009 for all of about 10 seconds. For whatever reason, my community is not favored by redpolls. This year, though, they were everywhere, including my yard.

On December 23, I had a redpoll in my yard for almost half an hour. And not only was it in my yard, but it visited my feeders as well.

We have been seeing so many finches this winter likely because it is an irruption year; a year when food sources (such as catkins and cone crops for finches and lemmings for Snowy Owls) are hard come by on these birds’ normal wintering grounds.

It’s neat for me to be able to see birds I don’t usually see in my backyard, such as the not-so-Common ( in my neighborhood) Redpoll.

Posted by Matthew Sim

6 thoughts on “My not-so-Common Redpolls

  1. Common Redpolls…these little darlings have been putting on a show outside my living room window since November. There are so many of them, I can’t accurately count them but they are sharing space with the House Finches, Juncos, Chickadees, Nuthatches and Sparrows. Today they have been pulling at a piece of jute garden twine on the tree. Such springy weather, I wonder if we shall have baby Redpolls in our yard this spring. While they favour the Niger Seed the also pick at the Safflower and Black Sunflower Seeds. This is the 1st year we have had Safflower Seeds and the 1st year we have had Redpolls. They are in my yard from sun up to sun down. Such a pretty show. As they have gotten use to their space, they are not as skittish as they were when they first arrived.

  2. We’ve just had our first Redpoll visitor this week. We live in in the North West in the Royal Oak area. Very cute little bird, and seemingly fearless.

  3. I forgot to say that they start coming about 8:00am in the morning and they are still feeding and it is now 11:00

  4. I have many in my back year this year.. I have feeders they are fun to watch (feeding finch seeds) I have never seen these birds before and have lived in Calgary (yikes 46 years) I am in Rocky Ridge NW

  5. I’ve heard Redpolls on flyovers of my house, but none have stopped by for a visit yet this winter. Funny enough, I have that exact same feeder in my back yard too. Great photos, Matthew!

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