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Jan 3, 2011

18 redpolls arrive

Common Redpoll
Carduelis flammea
Before Christmas, one single redpoll showed up for a few minutes at the backyard feeders, then no more.   Today, 18 showed up and have been around all morning.   They are most welcome to spend the winter here, I say.   The ones pictured above are females.   They are recognizable by the small red spot on the top of their heads.   The winter males also have the red spot, as well as a pale pink wash on their breasts.   Their sweet call is just that: 'swee-ee-eet'.   These dear little birds are most-welcome visitors from Canada's sub-arctic forests and tundra scrubs.   They get along well with the goldfinches and tree sparrows, but the juncos seem to give them a wide berth.   Please comment if you wish. 

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