Common redpolls in the backyard

Common redpoll flight - © Christopher Martin-2105

The common redpolls (Carduelis flammea) are, as the name implies, common across Canada’s lower latitudes in the winter.  However, they are new to my backyard.  We have had scores of Black-capped chickadees since we put out a winter bird feeder several years ago but not redpolls.  This year, there is a flock of about ten that spend much of the day in the trees behind our house flitting back and forth to the feeder.  They are joined now and then by a larger mob of about thirty more redpolls.  All of them seem to play nice with the incumbent chickadees so they have been a great, and colourful, addition to the forest that edges my backyard.

Common redpoll perched on cold morning - © Christopher Martin-2011

The morning I spent with them this weekend was cold so all of the birds were eating a lot and flying around.  My fingers didn’t like the -20˚C but it was a lot of fun standing in the middle of activity.

Common redpoll in profile - © Christopher Martin-2057

I set up early so the light was decidedly bluish.  When it came up, the sun went in and out of the clouds so I had a lot of different moods to work with.  It was a very fun morning at home.

In the brambles - © Christopher Martin-2153

Redpoll flight - © Christopher Martin-2419

18 responses

  1. Pingback: Hide and seek with a woodpecker « Christopher Martin Photography

  2. Pingback: Backyard Chickadees « Christopher Martin Photography

  3. pamkelso

    Reblogged this on pam kelso + PK Nature Photography and commented:
    Beautiful – I’ve not seen a bird like this before

    January 15, 2013 at 5:37 pm

  4. lisalday111711

    Incredible shots……this is a beautiful bird and your pictures are stunning

    January 15, 2013 at 6:56 am

  5. Excellent shots!!!

    January 14, 2013 at 9:29 pm

  6. Sid Dunnebacke

    I’ve yet to see one of these guys, and I now see that my field guides don’t do justice to their potential colaration. Fabulous, as always.

    January 14, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    • I hope you get to see some of these little ones soon. Thanks Sid.

      January 15, 2013 at 8:22 am

  7. I enjoy observing redpolls and taking photos of them, preferably on a bright day when I can use a high shutter speed. I do not see them every year so when I do it is a bonus. I love the captures you have made “in flight.”

    January 14, 2013 at 6:04 pm

    • Agreed – bright days help with that shutter speed. I love the current generation of digital cameras for the clean high ISOs that I can shoot with now. The early mornings and low light days are much more fun to photograph in!

      January 15, 2013 at 8:24 am

  8. Vicki

    beautiful photos..

    January 14, 2013 at 2:01 pm

  9. The last photo has an interesting effect – like the bird was doing some sort of long jump. It sounds like a great morning at home.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:35 pm

  10. Wonderful photos of the redpoll. I very best one if of the bird captured on the wing. Sharp and detailed. You have an excellent prime lens.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:33 pm

  11. A beautiful bird that I seldom see now that I have moved to a downtown condo. I especially love the first photo, but all are wonderful.

    January 14, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    • They really are beautiful. I’m enjoying getting to know them this winter. Thank you for taking the time to vist and to comment. Have a great afternoon.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:27 pm

  12. All are fabulous photos. I particularly like how you captured the last one.

    January 14, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    • Thank you Tux (and Ms. Mar). I had a 500mm lens so I pre-focused on the plane that the second peg of the feeder (the higher one in the image) was on and tired to catch the bird on the same line at the right time. These guys are small and very quick so it can be an easier way (relatively) to capture in flight shots. I’m glad you enjoyed them.

      January 14, 2013 at 1:31 pm

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