Watch for Common Redpolls
Don't let the name fool you. Common Redpolls are not common - not here anyways. Redpolls are small finches of the far north that tend to stray south during the winter. They have brown streaked flanks, a red cap, and a black face surrounding their tiny yellow bill. Males have a deep pink upper breast. Male House Finches, a very common feeder species here, are larger and lack the black face, yellow bill, and rosy pink color on the cap and breast.
Take a good look at the small finches at your feeders, because a few Redpolls have already been spotted in Central Oregon this winter .
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Fun Facts about Common Redpolls
- A study in Alaska documented that Common Redpolls could survive temperatures of -65°F.
- A Common Redpoll banded in Michigan was subsequently recovered in eastern Siberia.
- Common Redpolls will quickly gather numerous whole seeds and store them in an expandable section of their throat called the diverticulum. Once the have flown to the safety of dense cover they will regurgitate the whole seed, husk it and then re-swallow the nut meat. They will also fill the diverticulum with seed just before the onset of darkness in order to provide an extra source of energy to help them survive the night.