Common Redpoll

1/3200s at f8.0, ISO:1600, Canon EOS-1D X w/800mm, x1.4 converter

It breeds somewhat further south than the Arctic Redpoll, also in habitats with thickets or shrubs. These birds are remarkably resistant to cold temperatures and winter movements are mainly driven by the availability of food. Common Redpolls can survive temperatures of minus 65 degrees Fahrenheit. A study in Alaska found Redpolls put on about 31 percent more plumage by weight in November than they did in July. During winter, some Common Redpolls tunnel into the snow to stay warm during the night. Tunnels may be more than a foot long and 4 inches under the insulating snow. Common Redpolls eat mainly small seeds, typically of trees such as birch, willow, alder, spruces, and pines, but also of grasses, sedges, and wildflowers such as buttercups and mustards, and occasional berries. During summer they also eat considerable numbers of spiders and insects. Winter diet is largely birch and alder seeds or, at feeders, millet and thistle seed. Females do most of the searching for nest sites. They place their nests over thin horizontal branches or crotches in spruces, alders, and willows. Nests tend to be low to the ground or, on the tundra, placed on driftwood, rock ledges, or other low ground cover. Clutch size 2 to 7, Incubation period, 11 days, nestling period, 9 to 16 days.
Nome, AK