Archive for March 24th, 2009

Common redpolls beneath the niger feeder

Common redpolls (Carduelis flammea) beneath the niger feeder

Although Common Redpolls (Carduelis flammea) , winter visitors here in sunny eastern Ontario, are beginning their return to the far north for the breeding season, there is still a large flock of redpolls patronizing the niger feeder. It is usual to see a few Pine Siskins (Carduelis pinus) hanging out with the redpolls. Siskins, dressed in a demure brown-streaked feather coat, have a small patch of pale yellow on their wings at the base of their flight feathers. The yellow is generally muted and inconspicuous. Recently, siskins with a much more eye-catching yellow have been showing up at the feeder.


The yellower siskins may be migrants passing through, heading north from a winter range farther south. These siskins are termed “green-morph” and only about 1% of adult males show this coloration. More information about these uncommon birds is available over at the Stokes website.


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