Common Redpoll breeds in the Arctic, but is an irregular winter migrant to
southern Canada and the northern United States. They are well adapted to
cold climates, even having a small pouch in their throat where they can store
food, allowing them to dart out into the cold and collect a large amount of
food, and then return to a protected perch to slowly ingest it. They will
often visit bird feeders, where they are often extremely tame.
brushy areas for breeding, such as forest clearings, forest edges, thickets of
dwarf birch or willow, and shrubby areas on the tundra. Can be found in a
variety of semi-open habitats during the winter.
Diet: Primarily feeds on seeds. Also will take buds, catkins,
Behavior: Forages at all levels vegetation and
also on the ground. Gregarious, usually foraging in flocks
outside of the nesting season.
Breeding Map: Non-breeder in South Dakota. The
nest of a Common Redpoll is a cup of grasses, small twigs, mosses, and feathers.
The female usually lays 4 or 5 eggs, and she does all of the incubating.
When the eggs hatch, the female does most of the feeding of the young. The young
fledge after about 2 weeks.
Song: A trilling followed
by a bubbly twittering.
Migration: Summers in northern Canada and Alaska
up through the Arctic Circle. In winter, they are very irregular
migrants, moving only short distances southward during some winters, and
moving well into the continental United States in other winters.
Bird Feeders: Will come to feeders
for sunflower seeds, millet, and niger ("thistle") seed.
Cornell University's "All About Birds - Common Redpoll"
Photo Information: December 2004 - Sax-Zim Bog in
northern Minnesota - Terry Sohl
Additional Photos: Click on the image chips or
text links below for additional, higher-resolution Common Redpoll photos.