Animals / Birds

Common redpoll


Чечётка (ру.)

Birkenzeisig (de.)

Pardillo sizerín (es.)


Order — Passeriformes.

Family — Fringillidae.

Genus — Acanthis.

Species — Acanthis flammea.


Look for Common Redpolls in northern habitats ranging from willow flats to open conifer forest to open, weedy fields. They visit backyard bird feeders as well, especially during the winter.

Внешний вид

Length: 4.7–5.5 in (12–14 cm).

Wingspan: 7.5–8.7 in (19–22 cm).

Weight: 0.4–0.7 oz (11–20 g).

Tail is short, deeply notched.

2 white wing bars.

Chin is black.

Cap is red.

Varying amounts of red underneath.

Breeding male: the cap is bright red. The upperparts are brown with distinct streaking. The bright rosy red of the throat and breast extends onto the cheeks. The white flanks and undertail coverts have fine black streaking; the paler rump has distinctive streaking.

Breeding female: she lacks the red breast of the male and has variable amounts of streaking underneath, usually confined to sides.

Winter male: duller. Buffy wash on sides and rump.

Winter female: also buffier on sides.

Immature: first-year birds resemble an adult female, but they tend to be buffier.

Juvenile: brown and streaked, it acquires the red cap in the late summer molt.


Busy and acrobatic. They are quite vocal, making constant contact calls within their flocks, and are often located by their flight calls.


Common Redpolls eat mainly small seeds, typically of trees such as birch, willow, alder, spruces, and pines, but also of grasses, sedges, and wildflowers such as buttercups and mustards, and occasional berries. During summer they also eat considerable numbers of spiders and insects. Winter diet is largely birch and alder seeds or, at feeders, millet and thistle or nyjer seed.


Common Redpolls can survive temperatures of –65 degrees Fahrenheit. A study in Alaska found Redpolls put on about 31 percent more plumage by weight in November than they did in July.


Salmonella, Trichomoniasis, Aspergillosis, Avian pox, Mites and Lice, Lyme Disease.


Males dominate females in winter flocks, but as breeding season approaches, females become dominant and may take the lead in courtship. Does not seem to defend much of a nesting territory; nests of different pairs may be close together. Nest: Usually very well hidden in dense low shrubs, within a few feet of the ground, sometimes in grass clumps or under brushpiles. Nest (probably built by female) is an open cup of fine twigs, grass, moss, lined with feathers (especially ptarmigan feathers), plant down, or animal hair.

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