The Common Redpoll is a small bird of only 5" in length with a wingspread around 8 3/4". The male and female resemble each other except the male has a pinkish breast. Both sexes have a crimson/red crown on the forehead, short yellow bill, blackish-brown feet, brownish-black throat, longitudinally streaked with blackish-brown, dusky tail and wings with yellowish-brown edges, lower tail-coverts are white tinged with rose and yellowish-brown scapulars.
Common Redpolls fly in flocks of twenty or more in an undulatory manner similar to American Goldfinches and Pine Siskins. They can be seen on banks of lakes and rivers, hopping among the reeds or clinging to stalks. Numerous in most northern states, an irruption may take place as large flocks visit the more southern states such as Pennsylvania and New York in severe winters.
The song of the Common Redpoll is resembles the Pine Siskin which is a trill followed by a chet-chet-chet-chet sound. The song is frequently uttered when the birds are in flight.
Winters irregulary in Northeastern USCourtship/Nesting/Eggs:
The female constructs the nest on branches of spruce or in the crevice of a Willow anywhere from 3-6 feet above the ground. The nest is comprised of small twigs, grasses, mosses and roots lined with feathers. Between the months of April and August, 4 to 6 eggs that are pale bluish-green, sparingly dotted with reddish-brown toward the larger end are laid. Incubation is performed by the female and lasts anywhere from 10-11 days. The first young birds leaves the nest approximately 12 days after hatching.
Natural Feeding Habits:
Common Redpolls cling to branches, dexterously picking out seeds of alder cones, elms, willows, birches and pines and occassionally going to the ground after those that have dropped. Natural food also consists of buds and seeds of various grasses, berries and small leaves of bushes and trees. Several Redpolls can be seen on a twig feeding each other by passing a seed from bill to bill.
Another name for the Common Redpoll is Lesser Redpoll, Linnet, Holboell's Redpoll and Greater Redpoll.