Redpoll, irruptive


For nearly a month, I have been keeping my eyes open for Bohemian Waxwings. They are beautiful irruptive birds that sometimes come here to feast on rowen berries. An irruptive bird is one that occasionally bursts from the north in large numbers to feed in more southern latitudes. They come, feed, and vanish again for a few years. 

As I had set my sights on waxwings, I hadn’t expected redpolls. The redpoll is a finch that I last saw a couple of years ago. When here, it feeds on seeds such as the common tansy. This morning, I saw a half-dozen redpolls. They must have just arrived as they didn’t seem to have found a good food source yet. So, how long will they stay, and how many will come?

This Common Redpoll sits with others in a flock in a black hawthorn bush.


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9 Responses to Redpoll, irruptive

  1. lvetolaf says:

    This is a great picture, and sighting. Where was it? Beautiful, thanks.

  2. Alistair says:

    Nancy, it was beside the grasslands of Kokanee Creek Park.

  3. Jean Simpson says:

    I also have been watching for the Cedar Waxwings. For some reason they are the only birds that insist on flying into my windows. Nearly every year I have a solemn burial for at least one.
    So sad as they are such beautiful birds.

  4. Trevor Goward says:

    A small flock of about 15 bohemians swept through the Clearwater Valley about ten days ago, heading south I think. I’d expect them in your neck of the woods around Xmas. Think of them as a gift from the north country.

  5. Bill says:

    May I suggest a decal on the windows that get hit, available from BIRDS UNLIMITED, and maybe craft stores too. Cheers, Bill.

  6. colleen says:

    Just saying I love these little birds with their red breast! Thanks of the photo!

  7. Mandy Bath says:

    A flock of around 50 Bohemian Waxwings visited Kaslo for two or three days earlier this month. They hung out in the willows east of the Moyie, beside the beach, and were a delight to watch, with their looping flight and buzzy-trilling call. So beautiful.
    Mandy Bath

  8. Christine Boyd says:

    This pretty finch looks like the two I see at my feeder. They like to sit right in the seed dish for up to 15 minutes. Meanwhile the chickadees fly to the other side, or sometimes right beside them, obviously not competitors. It’s sweet to see the finches.

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