Monday, February 18, 2013

Birdwatching 101

"Hey mom," asked Younger Daughter this morning, "What are those birds in the yard? They're seriously cute."

A quick look through the binoculars revealed a pink cap and a finch-like beak. "House finch?" I wondered, though they didn't seem gaudy enough for that.

So I pulled out my well-used bird identification book.

Looked like what we had wasn't a house finch, but rather a Hoary Redpoll.

The book's description of the bird's physical appearance as well as winter territory certainly fits.

I took these photos through a window and at maximum zoom, so they're not the clearest. If anyone can identify them as anything else than a Hoary Redpoll, let me know!

Regardless, they ARE seriously cute.


  1. I would have assumed it was a Purple Finch.

  2. Thanks, Patrice. I'd been calling them 'those little finch-like critters' and hadn't looked them up.

    They winter with us and I love their little voices.


  3. Our neighborhood bird expert (here in the Idaho panhandle) agrees with you. It is a Hoary Redpoll.

  4. They are cute! Love the birds.


  5. The first photo looks like Common Redpolls to me, I'm not sure on the rest. Its not unusual to get Commons and Hoary's in the same flock, so its entirely possible. We get them here every winter (in good sized flocks too), and yes, they're very cute!

  6. No argument here... Redpolls indeed. We've had flocks of them raiding our feeders lately. A long awaited sign of winter losing its grip.

    Steve Davis
    Anchorage, Alaska