Monday, December 17, 2012

They're he-e-e-r-r-e-e!

I've been waiting for the Common Redpolls to show up at the Aerie's feeders. Folks to the north, south east and west of us have been seeing this irruptive species* for a week to a month already but they hadn't appeared here until today.

With their little red cap, unstreaked breast, black goatee, and yellow bill, they are pretty easy to see and identify on the feeder or a branch.  (The white wing bars and teensy amount of yellow on the wing look a good deal like the Goldfinch.)

Common Redpoll 

Common Redpoll 

On the ground, however....

Common Redpoll 

 ...yeah. Good luck even seeing them from 20 yards.

*"Irruptive species" are species that normally do not range this far south--if they've got food up north. This year's mast crop from firs and beeches has not been good throughout Canada and the northern New England states so a Big Year has been forecast for species looking for food. The mild weather has put a damper on the movement so far with only a few Evening Grosbeaks showing at the Aerie. Others have seen Crossbills, Snow Buntings and Pine Siskins as well but not in huge numbers and not on a consistent basis. Perhaps when/if there's some snow cover and if I add some thistle to my feeding routine, I'll get a greater variety of birds. (Bears destroyed my thistle feeder and I've yet to replace it. This weekend, however, Agway will have a big sale on feeders and seed.)

1 comment:

threecollie said...

Glad they made it to you!