Fun Facts about Redpolls

 

  • Redpolls are known as the “Winter Finches” and are often seen in large flocks throughout the colder months.  They can also be found mingling with Pine Siskins or GoldFinches.

  • Both males and females can be identified by their raspberry red head markings, or “polls”.  Males can also show a pink wash on their breasts.

  • Sometimes Redpolls are classified into Common Redpolls and Hoary Redpolls, with the Hoary Redpoll being slightly larger and with a lighter coloured body.  Recent research shows they are likely the same species.

  • Repolls spend their summers breeding in the Arctic, then migrate south to spend the winter (if you can call the Canadian prairies “south”).  Most birds make their way north again by mid-April.

  • During cold winter nights, some Redpolls burrow tunnels into the snow to keep warm. They can burrow up to 12 inches down and sleep in small cavities under the insulating snow.

  • Common Redpolls have throat pouches called diverticula that they can store seed in. They will collect food quickly, and then fly away to somewhere warmer or more sheltered to eat it.

  • Redpolls can survive temperatures below -50°C, because they have almost double the amount of plumage in winter compared to summer, and they eat over 40% of their body mass every day.

  • The Common Redpoll diet is almost entirely composed of birch tree seeds. They can be seen shaking the catkins of the birch so that the seeds will come loose and fall to the ground.

  • Redpolls will visit a feeder filled with Nyger or sunflower chips for easy snacking.

  • These cute little birds are dubbed the hardiest bird on the planet!