31 January, 2010

Common Redpoll

Scientific Name: Carduelis flammea

Population Estimate: 100M

Range / Habitat: Breeds in the long summer of the Arctic tundra. Winters in Canada, down to northern US. Also migratory across northern Europe and Asia. Frequent bird of feeders in the winter, but preferred habitat is open thickets and weedy fields. Introduced to Australia and New Zealand.

Field Notes: Small, rolly-polly finch with distinctive red patch on head, variable pink on the breast, and heavily streaked sides. The less common Hoary Redpoll is sometimes mixed in and appears lighter overall, more white on secondaries, no streaking on flanks, and unstreaked white rump patch.

Personal Notes: First seen in Sax-Zim Bog. Later, we delighted in flocks of these birds at a winter feeder on the Gunflint Trail (with a bonus Hoary mixed in, though no photo).

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