Acanthis Flammea – Common Redpoll

Acanthis Flammea - Common Redpoll found in the US

The common redpoll, also known as the mealy redpoll, Acanthis flammea, is a finch species. It breeds slightly further south than the Arctic redpoll, and also in thickets or shrubland habitats.

Quick Overview: Acanthis Flammea – Common Redpoll
Body size: Around 5-5.5 in (13-14 cm) and a weight of 14 g (0.5 oz)
Main colors: Brown, Rose-Pink, Brown, White, Red, Black
Range: North Eastern Coastal Area of the United States
Migratory Bird: Yes
Best time of the year to see in the U.S.: January, February, December
Conservation Status: Least Concern

Common redpoll Description

Small finch with brown streaks on the upper parts, a bright rose-pink breast, and boldly streaked flanks and under tail coverts. Cap is red with a black chin. Olive-brown bill with a fine black tip. Dark wings with two narrow white bars; black and notched tail. Legs and feet in black.

Acanthis Flammea - Common Redpoll found in the US
Acanthis Flammea – Common Redpoll. Photo by: Fyn Kynd


These birds have a length of 5-5.5 in (13-14 cm) and a weight of 14 g (0.5 oz). Their wings could range from 8.25-9 in (21-23 cm).


According to some studies, redpolls survive almost entirely on birch seeds during the winter. They consume up to 42% of their body mass daily. They can store approximately 2 grams (0.07 oz.) of seeds in a stretchy part of their esophagus, which is approximately a quarter of their daily energy requirement.


It is most frequently found in boreal forests of pines, spruces, and larches. It is primarily a seed eater, preferring birch and alder seeds in the winter. The common redpoll nests in a tree or bush at a low level.


They build their nests in spruces, alders, and willows, on thin horizontal branches or crotches. Nests are typically built low to the ground or on driftwood, rock ledges, or another low ground cover in the tundra. May to July is the breeding season for common redpolls. They form monogamous couples (lifetime partners) and have only one brood per season. Males perform aerial acrobatics and collect food for females during courtship.

Acanthis Flammea Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Aves
  • Order: Passeriformes
  • Family: Fringillidae
  • Carduelinae: Carduelinae
  • Genus: Acanthis
  • Species: Acanthis flammea

Best time of the year to see

The best time to see these birds in the United States is during the winter season (December to February).

Distribution of the Common redpoll in the USA

Breeds throughout Alaska and northern Quebec, as well as in British Columbia, Newfoundland, and the Magdalen Islands. Winters south to California, Oklahoma, and the Carolinas on an irregular basis; also found in Eurasia.

The Common redpoll can be found in the following states in the United States – Montana, North Dakota, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, New York, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

Acanthis Flammea – Common Redpoll

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