Only periodically venturing out of the boreal forests to visit feeders to the south, the appearance of Common Redpolls brings joy to many FeederWatchers. Last winter was a poor year for seeing redpolls and other “irruptive” finches at feeders across much of North America. But the birds are currently on the move, and Kittie Wilson of Pleasant Lake in New London, New Hampshire, has been enjoying a flock of Common Redpolls for the last several weeks. Kittie noted that the repolls, “have visited many homes with feeding stations around the lake and their sound is like spring itself as we are in the darkest of winter. What a treat! They are so jaunty, you can just feel their spunk and vitality!”
Common Redpoll by Kittie Wilson, New London, NH.
Redolls only move out of the boreal forest when supplies of tree seeds are low. Very few redpolls were seen outside of Canada last winter as the birds feasted on natural food sources. Pine Siskins, another irruptive species, have been widely seen in the lower 48 states for several weeks. Redpolls are now moving south and being reported from Minnesota to Pennsylvania. Maps showing the current distribution of redpolls can be found by searching for Common Redpoll under “current season maps” in the FeederWatch Map Room
. More information about these gregarious finches can be found on the Cornell Lab of Ornithology’s All About Birds
website. Finch fans may also appreciate the stunning array of finch photos
by featured photographer Jacob Spendelow.