The REDPOLLS are coming! The REDPOLLS are coming!

Indeed, the Redpolls have come.

Yesterday I spotted this new (to me) bird, flock of them actually, at the Sabine feeders.

You readers instantly illumined my mind by informing me that this is the Common Redpoll.

They are a bit more aggressive than other birds, and they so far have spent energy driving away the very similar Pine Siskin.

This Chickadee is doing his usual grab and dash, so the Redpole hasn’t gone after him… yet.

I am guessing that they have moved south from Canada in search of food during this already hard winter.

There scientific name is Carduelis flammea, for obvious reasons.

You can see the similarity to its cousin, Pine Siskin.

In other news… this American Goldfinch is hanging around, doing that flapping thing to stay on the perch on this windy day!

"But Father! But Father!", I can hear you saying.  "Enough about the Goldfinch!  What about that Navy Bean Soup you were making yesterday??"

With a slice of a dark rye, it’s pretty good.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Mary in CO says:

    Beautiful pictures of those darlin’ redpolls (Carduelis flammea). And your navy bean soup looks tasty. But Fr. Z, do you have a recipe you can share with us? Or did you just … wing it?

  2. Eric says:

    We had a first at our feeder yesterday, a Rufous-sided Towhee.

    We are truly living in exciting times. ;-)

  3. Maureen says:

    Re: “Redpoll” —

    Poll is a lovely old word. You normally only see it in much-mutated form, like “polls” or “polling”. But it really means “head”, especially the hairy part. If you poll people or send people to the polls, you’re literally “counting heads”. :)

    So I look at that bird, and I do see a red poll. Excellent name!

  4. Ed says:

    Fr. Z – On the soup, I don’t see any juniper berries, which add a subtle, wonderful zest to any white-bean dish. If you haven’t tried that, and trusting that your recipe includes olive oil, you’re in for a treat.

  5. Eric: A Rufous-sided Towhee, you say!

    I give you joy of it!

  6. Ed: I don’t see any juniper berries

    Whew! That’s a relief! I didn’t put any in!

    Good idea though.

    I used them not long ago with my pork and sauerkraut.

  7. tradone says:

    Delightful pictures! We should be so lucky.
    Yesterday we heard the most awful sounds, there were 6 crows yakking it up in the tree behind our house. They all but disappeared for a couple of years from the West Nile Disease. We sure didn’t miss their noise.

  8. laurasplat says:

    The first thought that came to my mind when I saw the first pic was that it was a frosted cardinal. I don’t think there IS such a thing as a frosted cardinal, but if you had a very very cold, frost-covered cardinal (the Virginia state bird!) I think that is what I would look like as it was coming in for a landing.

  9. michael r. says:

    Great photos of the Redpolls! You are right about the severity of conditions in the north causing a periodic “irruption”. It’s a boon for birders in the states. One of those little Redpolls was spotted in Cincinnati yesterday, so I went in search after Mass today. No luck, but I located a flock of 30 White-winged Crossbills (Loxia leucoptera). I bet they are plentiful in the conifers in your neck of the woods.

  10. JohnE says:

    Ok, lots of pictures of birds, capped off with a picture of lunch. Am I the only one sensing an ulterior motive for the Sabine bird feeders?

    Ok, two razz’s in one day. I’m done Father.

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