Common Redpoll in Winter

male and female common redpolls perched on snowy branch in winter
Common redpolls (male and female).

Appearance: Commonly known as the “winter finch”, the common redpoll is a small bird about 5″ long. It’s a heavily streaked bird with a bright red crown, a black spot beneath the chin, and raspberry splotch on its chest. In winter the breast becomes much redder/pink. The female is similar except without the raspberry chest and in winter adopts whiter underparts.

Winter diet: Seeds mostly. In winter flocks, they’ll feed on the ground or in seed-bearing trees

Winter feeder food: Black-oil sunflower seed, hulled sunflower seed, and nyjer.

Winter habitat: In winter, most common redpoll leave their breeding area of northern Canada and head south – as far south as the US states of Washington, Minnesota, Michigan, Wisconsin, Michigan, and New York. Yet many remain in their year-round location in northern Quebec, Newfoundland, the Yukon territory, and Alaska. A few may show up even further south but those instances are infrequent. They prefer open areas lined with trees.

Range Map

Common redpole range map.
Common redpole range map. Compliments of The Cornell Lab.