This little finch breeds in Northern areas (and some mountains) all round the North Pole reaching well into the tundra in places. In Britain the local race breeds all over the place but, having done well, is in steep decline at present.
All are more or less grey-brownish finches with paler rumps and a pink forehead with a black chin. Adult males have the pink repeated on the throat and breast and a wash of it in the rump. Races vary hugely in size and paleness. Pleasing jangling flight call is characteristic.
This is a bird of birch, sallow and alder scrub (where there are trees) and flocks feed on tree and weed seeds in the winter. The bill is small and conical and so the preferred seeds are mostly are small. Much movement Southwards, to a varying extent depending on food supplies, during the winter. There may be less than 200,000 pairs in Britain and Ireland.
A small woodland and scrubland finch.
The following Bird On! picture is available:
Redpoll (Watercolour by Robert Gillmor)
Length 130 mm Closed wing 75 mm Weight 14 gms
A Bird On! Sketch by Chris Mead
Copyright © 1996 by Jacobi Jayne & Company and Chris Mead