Redpolls, Redpolls, Redpolls!

Today I finally got to check another species off my Northwoods bird wishlist.

For the last couple weeks there have been rumors of redpolls on campus: “There was one in the tree outside my office this morning, but it’s gone now!” “I have one at my feeder regularly… just not when you’re around.” I seemed to keep missing them, no matter what I did.

After lunch I walked out of the dining hall and into the atrium of our academic building. Right up against the windows grows a row of small birch trees, and in one of them was a flock of small finch-like birds. There have been goldfinches hanging out there for ages, but something about these caught my eye and I made a beeline for the windows. There, separated from me only by a few inches and a pane of glass as they demolished the tree’s remaining catkins, were at least a dozen redpolls!

If only I’d had my camera on me then I could have gotten a pretty excellent photograph, even with my little point-and-shoot. By the time I retrieved it from my apartment and made it back to the academic building they’d moved on to the feeders, and the above was the best I could do. I’m assuming that’s a Common Redpoll, specifically? I need to learn how to tell Commons and Hoaries apart. In any case, that’s actually the same feeder I got my life Evening Grosbeak at a while back. Hip-hip-hooray!

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