Spring 2018

Spring 2018
Spring Green

Friday, March 15, 2013

common red polls at the feeder

Looks a little crowded at the feeder doesn't it?

These are Common Red Polls.  They are a member of the finch family and look similar to pine siskins.  
They have a red poll or cap on their heads and the males have a rosy breast which gets brighter in spring to catch the female eye.

We have had a flock of about 40 here all winter long and they are also visiting a friend's feeders a mile up the road.  At least, we think they are the same flock.  They make the rounds all day and can clean out a feeder in a few hours.

This is hubby's ham (amateur) radio tower which is beside our back deck.  It makes a great perch for the birds as they wait their turn at the feeder.

Common Red Polls can survive in temperatures as cold as -65F.  They are known to tunnel over a foot long and 4 inches deep under snow on cold winter nights to keep warm.  I wondered how they survived in the cold all winter.  Amazing.

Here are more birds getting the droppings on the snow below the feeder.  The snow has since melted there and the ground is black with the seed casings and about 2 inches deep.  It'll be a mess to clean up!

These photos were taken through the window (not very clean) so are a bit fuzzy.  Plus the birds were in motion.  They don't stay still very long as they vie for position on the feeder.

This little pair was sitting on the deck railing waiting patiently for their meal.  They work hard to get some nourishment from a few tiny seeds.  They will fill pouches in their throat with seed and fly off to a warmer protected spot to enjoy their meal.

Here is a link with more information on the Common Red Poll
if you are interested.

I enjoy watching the birds in our back yard.  Do you?

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!




  1. There's really nothing "common" about them, is there? They are a remarkable wee bird. I learned a lot here this morning and now I'll follow your link and learn more.

    (I have said all winter that we haven't had any birds, but yesterday I finally noticed a pair of mourning doves nesting in our Eastern Spruce. I think they were attracted by the suet cake I made earlier in the winter. I also saw the dreaded turkey vultures are back. Ugh.)

    1. Now that was fascinating! And they're smart little things, too; although, I'm not sure why they'd hang out in the arctic.

  2. The food must be good at your place Pamela to attract so many at once. I could sit at the kitchen window for hours watching our feathered friends.

  3. I have never seen any of them around here. How amazing for so many of them to feed at once!

  4. i love watching birds. so fun. you never know what kind of bird you might see. unexpected all the time - like when woody stops by. ( :

  5. I love watching the birds...in fact this morning Phil came by with the girls..3 of the bachlorettes...or are they wives now?

    Soon maybe, baby pheasants.


  6. I love waking up to the sound of birds twittering outside my window. You have a great opportunity to observe there.

    On another note, I have a special fondness for ham radio operators. Our three children were born in a small jungle hospital in Ecuador. No email or phone down there at that time. So we used ham radio patches to call home to tell our parents the exciting news. I so much appreciate the men who were willing to patch us through.

  7. Bless you for feeding the birds, they are so pretty to look at and such a joy to watch them as they make it through the winter. I don't feed our birds, because our neighbour directly to the east of us do, they eat at his feeders and sit in our bushes. He doesn't have any bushes, so I feel like together we are contributing to their welfare.
    Have a wonderful weekend.

  8. I love watching birds... and end up taking most of my bird pictures through the window not to scare them. We don't put our bird feeders out during the winter as there is too much snow for me to get to them and they bird feed ends up being hard mush at the bottom. Great pictures.

  9. It's amazing to see so many at one spot...And thanks for all the information; I had no idea about these birds.....

  10. So many of them! I learned something. Thanks!

  11. Hi Pamela, love those little birds, I watched a flock at my feeder yesterday, so many.........thanks for sharing, Francine.

  12. I'm ready for them to go home now. As soon as they come our gold finches disappear. And the way they fly up and away en masse, they often hit the windows. But, they are cute little things. There are just so many, they'd eat you out of house and home if you'd let them.

  13. Oh, Pam, they are so precious looking...wish they'd come to CT and keep their cousins (House Finch?) company!!! They are so cute with that little red cap...:)JP


  14. Wow, what a large flock of redpolls. I love watching the birds, they bring so much enjoyment. I love how they are waiting turns on the tower.

  15. What sweet little birds! Those seed castings will be very nice to add to your compost heap. :)

  16. I especially love the last photo of the waiting pair. What fascinating birds! : )

  17. We used to get red polls but not for a few years. Your pictures are great!

  18. They are so sweet. I love watching the little finches in our yard. I can never get great shots like these though. :)


  19. Beautiful pictures of the sweet birds! There were Robins in my yard today.

  20. I sure do love bird watching...I don't think I have those cute little guys here...
    Love the little red tuft on their heads...
    Enjoy your weekend...

    Linda :o)

  21. I awoke to beautiful birdsong this morning - was able to sleep with the window open as it was such a warm night! Beside melodies, there was the sound of a woodpecker drilling on the neighbors' metal chimney cover, all part of Spring to come I guess. All my feeders need cleaning - MY windows too!

    Love your finch-like birds - amazing they can burrow in the snow like that.
    I had a very small Mourning Dove lying down on my front porch railing in the warm sun yesterday afternoon - stayed for quite some time just relaxed and looking about - but I didn't get any pics, too many other things going on around here!

    Lovely to know we will soon have mating birdies and babies on the way!

    Hugs - Mary

  22. This is a species we don't see here. I love the tower shot! It makes a rather nice perch for lots of birds!


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