Saturday, January 5, 2013

Camera Critters: question answered

Photo by Richard Schear, January 3, 2013. Female Common Redpoll.

Caught with the evidence in her mouth! It's okay, little bird, that's why we leave the fruit on the tree, for you and for the deer to eat in the winter.

After much research, but without having to send an SOS to our bird blog buddy Phil in the UK, I have established that this cutie is a female Common Redpoll.

Richard Schear photo, January 3, 2013. Common Redpoll.
A flock of brown and red birds descended on our ornamental crabapple tree a couple of days ago, and we thought we were having a visit from some House Finches who had wandered a little north of their territory.
The pink color, indicating where House Finches live, is in almost all of the US, and in the southern parts of eastern Canada, as well as on the west coast of BC. But their range doesn't reach Alberta (second province from the left) even though they're shown in Montana, directly below us.

Map by Terry Sohl, NatureServe
House Finch

Then I looked up our photos from last winter and realized our visitors were most likely Redpolls. A little more research confirmed it. They came back! They like our tree. Maybe they'll be back again. We hope so.

Richard Schear photo, February, 2012. Common Redpoll.
Map by Terry Sohl, NatureServe
Redpoll range: light blue.
Common Redpoll

Posted for Camera Critters
hosted by Misty Dawn. Thanks, Misty!


Lavender Cottage said...

They're hard to tell apart, aren't they? I would have thought the top photo was a female house finch. Pine siskins are hard for me to identify when the finches are around too.
Cheers from Ontario.

jabblog said...

Beautiful - we garden for the wild birds, too.:-)

diane b said...

You did some good sleuthing . They are very similar and both cute. Love the shot of it eating the fruit.


Kay, your post could have been written by me...I too find that with some birds, I haven't an inkling as to what species. Our diligence pays off.

If you'd like, consider adding your link to my birding meme "The Bird D'Pot". You'll find the connecting hyperlink on my sidebar "I'd Rather B Birdin"

Have a great weekend. said...

What pretty little birds!

Maple Lane said...

I love your bird photos. Will you be joining in the Great Backyard Bird Count in February??

Sherry Blue Sky said...

SO lovely. I especially love the first one. Beautiful little critter.

Kay L. Davies said...

@ Sherry
Thanks. The first is my favorite, too. It's hard to get photos from inside the house even with my "new" window. I loved the little female with her mouth full of fruit and the half-eaten evidence beside her!

Fran said...

They are so pretty. I have bird feeders outside my window at work and can spend hours just watching the birds (it aids my concentration of course!!!). Xxx

Jidhu Jose said...

lovely birds


Cezar and Léia said...

Lovely birdie and funny to be caught in the act! :)
God bless you!

Gattina said...

Unfortunately I don't know anything about birds, I only find your pictures very cute ! BTW I am back from sunny Southern France into the grey rain of Brussels !

Tammy said...

I've never seen a Redpoll, but it's very sweet looking. Makes such a nice picture in your tree. In fact, I can't help but think what a great "January" page that would make in a calendar!

Powell River Books said...

Isn't it fun to have birds return to share our lives? This time of year at the cabin the birds are few and far between. We don't use a feeder since we can't be there to keep it full all the time. Not much else to eat out over the water. But pretty soon spring will be back with lots of feathered friends. - Margy

magiceye said...

Beautiful captures all!

Black Jack's Carol said...

Oh my, Kay, those Red Polls are absolutely delightful and your captures are excellent. I love it that you leave the berries for your bird visitors. I hope 2013 will be good to you, your husband, Lindy and all those people and critters you love!

Kay said...

Dick really managed to catch some great photos of the beautiful birds. They look like sparrows with red stains on their feathers... maybe from eating too much fruit.

Jennifer A. Jilks said...

I loe the redpolls!

Martha Z said...

I don't think we have redpolls here but we do have berry loving birds. They got confused over the holidays and tried to eat the berries on my fake wreaths.