redpolls in winter

steve and i have been birding. there is a small creek below our back porch whose surrounding trees are the home and mating playground to many species of birds.

this winters list:

black capped chicadee

red breasted nuthatch

pine siskin

bohemian waxwing

one robin

(hairy?) woodpecker

steve saw a pine grosbeak (i’m still waiting for my peek)

but by far the most prevalent is the common redpoll.


we have been supplying a small bounty to these birds this winter in a clay bird feeder that my grandma made many years ago. i have spent a lot of time watching them and wondering about their personal lives. do meaningful interactions occur in their little community? and what about kindness and sharing? they’re so numerous and in such close proximity to each other that i assume they don’t distress one another.

i have seen large interactions close to the bird feeder and it just looks like a bunch of squabbling; i have also seen pairs on a more private branch touching beaks, sharing food? regarding each other. are they aware that it is likely beneficial to their survival to posses concern for the whole or is is strictly instinctual? or is the bird feeder representative of any human hub of gluttony where individuals go to gorge themselves on products and have no meaningful interactions whatsoever.


very fine handspun laceweight yarn

acid dyed shetland, cvm, mohair

481 yards

2.4 oz

9-12 wpi


redpolls are small finches that reside in the arctic tundra and boreal forests of the northern hemisphere. they have an undulating up and down pattern of flight. their tail is short with a notch at the tip. they are heavily streaked brown and white, white wingbars, black feathers around a yellow bill, and pale to bright red foreheads. males will have a burst of red across their breast and upper flanks. their call is a buzzy zap with a rising dreeee.

common-redpoll_16934_600x450we are moving to girdwood in a few weeks and i can wait to see what birds we can identify there.


this yarn may be purchased here.


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