Discovering Nature

A Riot of Redpolls


These little arctic birds are everywhere today! They’re on the feeder attached to the house, like this one, sometimes wedged tightly together.

They’re also on the roof.

redpolls3 redpolls2 redpoll3They’re in the spruce tree.

redpolls5b redpolls4 redpolls redpoll4


They’re on the feeder out back.


They’re on the ground.


They’re in the treetops.

treefulEverywhere, they’re discussing everything with great animation. They’re looking up, down, around — like David Copperfield, whose first plan as a young man is to spend some time “looking about me.” They move in a large, swirling mass.

I’ve never laid eyes on one before this year — that I know of. But I was reading at All About Birds that during iruption years, they travel in huge flocks like this. They breed in the arctic tundra and boreal forest, so this is the sunny south for them!

There are many neat facts about them over at All About Birds. My favorite discovery is that they tunnel under the snow to stay warm, in tunnels sometimes a foot or more long. They can survive temps as low as -65 degrees!

Incredible. Welcome, redpolls! Enjoy your visit.

Categories: Birds

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  1. I do believe those darling redpolls have come along about now to keep us in the Christmas spirit for at least a couple more days, wearing their red “hats” and looking so pert among the greenery. What dears!

    • Janet

      January 5, 2013 — 2:40 am

      It’s wonderful to see them out there, knowing how far they’ve traveled. Just amazing.

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