This is the type of bird that hides in plain sight and has NH Seacoast bird nerds like myself looking closely at every birch tree for a small flock.

Photo Credit C. Lapierre
Photo Credit C. Lapierre

Common Redpoll

This winter has really brought about the irruptive behavior of some of our finest feathered friends from the North. Generally speaking, the Common Redpoll is more at home in the Subarctic and more 'Common' as you head towards the Canadian Rockies.

Flocks have been spotted in Rochester and Dover lately which, if you think about this bright red finch's favorite things, makes perfect sense.

They like REALLY cold weather and recently every night the thermometer dips into the teens. Check!

And WOW do they LOVE birch seed.

New Hampshire's State Tree!

Similar to the Pine Grosbeak, a mostly Canadian finch that has been munching away at the crabapple trees in my front yard, they are here to feed at an opportune time and location.

But unlike the Pine Grosbeak, which I can walk by within arms reach as they stare at me with a pleasant drunken expression, the Common Redpolls are much tougher to see up close.

The featured image for this article was provided to me by my brother, who has managed to get as close to a flock as anyone I know. And they still appear to be nine miles away.

This winter has been especially frustrating as I usually am convinced that I see them, then get closer and closer, until once again realizing that I'm stalking a house finch.

The biggest indicator of a Common Redpoll is that they are in birch trees AND they won't let you get within fifty yards of them. A brutal characteristic for NH Seacoast bird watchers!

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