Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Common Redpoll

Elly and I have been keeping a close watch on our Niger feeder since Mark McKellar at the Backyard Bird Center told me cold weather up north has driven many birds down into our area that are somewhat unusual here. Large numbers of goldfinches have been frequenting the feeder. So many, in fact, we plan to put up a few more feeders. Some of the northern visitors like to mingle with goldfinch flocks.

We were rewarded today with the appearance of a Common Redpoll, mixed right in with the goldfinches as predicted by Mr. McKellar. He showed up about 11:40 am. Definitely a male from the coloring. I got a few pictures. No great shots but the bird can be readily identified. Their tails are proportionately longer than those of goldfinches, and, as can be seen in the second image, much more deeply forked. This is the first Redpoll we have seen in our yard, so we get to add another bird to our yard list.


waxwing said...

We've gotten a lot of goldfinches recently -- they finally found my new "thistle" feeder, but nothing exotic like a redpoll. Lucky you!

Fiske said...


Thanks! Redpolls are exotic in our area, though seen regularly in the north central US. Mark at Backyard Bird told me Omaha is usally their extreme southern range. My sighting is the only confirmed report he has (this winter) of a male redpoll on the eastern side of Missouri. A lady who works at Backyard Bird for Mark has seen three females in her yard.

I'm especially thrilled because we live in midtown KC and are in the center of our subdivision, not in one of the houses on the edge next the wooded area. Very lucky! Also, the fact that I am currently UNEMPLOYED(!) made it possible for me to keep a close eye on the feeder. :-)

Congratulations on your success with the new thistle feeder.