Common Redpoll

: A Fascinating Bird

If you’re a bird enthusiast, you know that every species is unique and fascinating in its way. One such intriguing bird is the Common Redpoll. In this post, we’ll delve into what makes this little creature so remarkable.

Basic Description

The Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea) belongs to the finch family and is about 4-5 inches long with a wingspan of 7-9 inches. It has a small conical bill and an overall plump appearance; its head and throat are covered in a red cap, while its breast sports light streaking.

Where To Find This Bird

The Common Redpoll can be found throughout Canada’s boreal forests but breeds mainly in Alaska’s northern regions. During winter months, it migrates southward to the contiguous United States’ northern states or even further down into central North America.


This bird prefers open areas with sparse trees or shrubs like tundras or scrubland as it feeds on tree seeds during winters when there’s not much else available to eat. It also favors birch trees for nesting.


As mentioned above, one of the common redpolls’ preferred food sources is tree seeds like those from spruce and pine cones or birch catkins readily available during winter months when insects aren’t around for consumption. They will occasionally feed on insects too whenever they come across them.

Cool Facts

Here’s some interesting facts about these birds:

– The name “redpoll” comes from their bright-red “forehead” patch that poll (meaning “head”).

– During extremely cold weather conditions (-65 degrees Fahrenheit), they’ve been known to subsist solely on spruce budworm larvae high in protein and fat to help them survive the frigid temperatures.

– These birds have a unique adaptation—their digestive system changes depending on their diet. When consuming high-fat foods (like spruce budworm larvae), their intestines expand, while they shrink when eating low-fat diets like tree seeds or any other food source.

In conclusion, if you live in the northern US states or Canada’s boreal forests, keep an eye out for these little red-capped birds during winter months. They’re fascinating creatures with some incredible adaptations to survive harsh conditions and thrive in environments where few others can survive.