A Common Redpoll is a fun bird to see while bird watching. Below are some tips to help you identify Common Redpolls. We have also put together a list of fun Common Redpoll t-shirts, Common Redpoll bird patches, birdhouses, bird feeders, binoculars, stickers, and other fun bird-watching items.
About Common Redpolls
These wintering finches are a common sight in the Arctic, southern Canada, and the northern United States. They are restless and tiny birds that travel in large busy flocks. You can find them feeding aggressively on seeds in open fields. Their small size makes them ideal for cold temperatures. Some of their distinctive features include:
Description and Identification
Common Redpolls are small finches that are 4.5-5.5 inches long, with a wingspan of 7.5-8.7 inches.
These birds have a predominantly brownish-gray plumage with dark streaks. Common Redpolls
are known for the characteristic red patch on their foreheads. These birds closely resemble the
Arctic redpolls, but can be differentiated by observing their smaller size and more apparently
streaked plumage. Male Common Redpolls are imbued with red breasts and have streaked rumps.
They have yellowish bills and brown irises and legs. Common Redpolls are intelligent birds that
can survive harshly cold climates. To conserve energy during unbearably cold climates, they are
known to tunnel in the snow.
Common Redpoll Color Pattern
Common Redpolls are entirely brown and white both on the underparts and upperparts with streaked sides. Their tiny foreheads have a red patch and their yellow bill is surrounded by black feathering at the base. Their tails are black and their dark wings have two white bars.
Common Redpoll Size
They are small songbirds with small notched tails. Their heads and pointed bills are also small. They almost resemble the American goldfinch in size.
The relative size of both sexes
- Length range: 4.7-5.5 in (12-14 cm)
- Weight: 0.4-0.7 oz (11-20 g)
- Wingspan range: 7.5-8.7 in (19-22 cm)
Common Redpoll Behavior
They forage aggressively on trees, weeds, the ground, and shrubs and travel in large busy flocks. However, when nesting, they forage individually or in pairs. Common Redpolls have a pouch in their throats where they store their food for a few hours. This feature allows it to feed and collect food in the open then digest it slowly in a hidden spot.
Common Redpoll Food
The majority of the diet of Common Redpolls consists of small seeds. Seeds of alders, willows, birches,
pines, and spruces are generally consumed by these birds. Apart from seeds of trees, sometimes
they also eat seeds from grasses, mustards, and buttercups. During summers these birds also
include a large number of spiders and insects into their diet. Insects are especially important for
younglings of Common Redpolls.
They mostly feed on insects and seeds. During winter they feed entirely on seeds of plants such as alder, willow, pines, and spruces. In summer, they devour insects and spiders which make up a huge portion of their diet.
Common Redpoll Habitat
Common Redpolls like to breed at an elevation of 5,000 feet in northern latitudes. Open woodlands
with trees such as pine, birch, spruce, and alder are inhabited by these birds. These birds are
capable of living near human-inhabited areas and are a common sight at bird feeders in very cold
months. The winter range of common Redpolls is extremely unreliable because of the
unpredictability of food sources.
They ideally thrive in tundra scrubs, birches, and thickets. In winter, frequent brushes and weeds. They breed in open areas of spruce or birch forests, willows, and bushy tundra. They winter in semi-open areas and can be found in towns.
Range and Mirgration
Common Redpolls are tiny birds from the finch family. These birds are widespread in the Arctic and
sub-Arctic and their range extends southwards during the winter. Common Redpolls do not have
fixed wintering grounds — they go as far south as they require to find a suitable climate and
abundant food supplies. When food availability is low, Common Redpolls can migrate all the way to
the central states during winter. These birds only migrate during the day.
Common Redpoll Lifecycle
The females lay 4-5 eggs and incubate them for 10-11 days. The hatchlings are fed by the female and rarely by the male. They leave the nest after 12 days.
Common Redpoll Nesting
Female Common Redpolls become dominant during the breeding season and take the lead in
courtship. Males can be noticed feeding females during courtship. Courtships displays by males
involve them circling around the females while calling and singing. Females search and construct
nests in sites of their preference. Their nests are placed over horizontal branches of conifers such
as alders, willows, and spruce. These well-hidden nests are constructed with grass, moss,
feathers, animal hair, and fine twigs. The constructed nest has a diameter of 2.5 inches and is 2
inches deep. Although these birds do not reuse nests, they may use materials from older nests.
Female Common Redpolls lay about 2-7 eggs which are 0.6-.8 inches in length and 0.4-0.6 inches
in width. These eggs have an incubation period of 11 days. Nestlings do not leave their nests for 9-
16 days after being hatched. Common Redpolls can raise from 1-3 broods every year.
Bird Watching Academy & Camp Subscription Boxes
At Bird Watching Academy & Camp we help kids, youth, and adults get excited and involved in bird watching. We have several monthly subscription boxes that you can subscribe to. Our monthly subscription boxes help kids, youth, and adults learn about birds, bird watching, and bird conservation.
Bird Watching Binoculars for Identifying Common Redpolls
The most common types of bird-watching binoculars for viewing Common Redpolls are 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. Bird Watching Academy & Camp sells really nice 8×21 binoculars and 10×42 binoculars. You can view and purchase them here.
Common Redpoll T-shirts
If you love the Common Redpoll you should purchase a Bird Watching Academy & Camp T-shirt. To help support bird conservation we donate 10 percent to bird conservation activities.
Common Redpoll Iron On Patches
Kids, Youth, and Adults love to collect our Bird Watching Academy & Camp iron-on patches. Our bird-watching patches help you keep track of the birds you have seen and identified. You can also display the patches on our Bird Watching Academy & Camp banners.
The Common Redpoll is a great iron-on patch to start your collection with. The patches are durable and can be sewn on or ironed on to just about anything.
Common Redpoll Stickers
Stickers are a great way for you to display your love for bird watching and the Common Redpoll. We sell a monthly subscription sticker pack. The sticker packs have 12 bird stickers. These sticker packs will help your kids learn new birds every month.
Bird Feeders for Common Redpolls
There are many types of bird feeders. Here are our favorite bird feeders for your backyard. We use all of these bird feeders currently. Kids will have a great time watching birds eat at these bird feeders. Using this collection of bird feeders will provide a wide variety and many types of birds.
Best Bird Houses for Common Redpolls
There are many types of birdhouses. Building a birdhouse is always fun but can be frustrating. These 4 birdhouses have become our favorites. Getting a birdhouse for kids to watch birds grow is always fun. We spent a little extra money on these birdhouses but they have been worth the higher price and look great.