Are redpolls ground feeders?

Answered by Tom Adger

Redpolls are indeed ground feeders. They are small birds that are often found feeding on the ground under bird feeders. This behavior is especially common when it comes to feeding on spilled seed from nyjer feeders.

When redpolls visit bird feeders, they tend to be quite active and agile. They often hang upside down on the nyjer feeders to access the tiny seeds. However, as they feed, some of the seeds inevitably fall to the ground. Redpolls, being resourceful birds, take advantage of this and gather on the ground to forage for the spilled seed.

It is not uncommon to see a group of 20 or more redpolls gathered under a nyjer feeder, pecking at the seeds scattered on the ground. Their presence not only helps clean up the spilled seed, but it also adds a lively and vibrant touch to the bird feeding area.

Redpolls have a distinct appearance that makes them easily recognizable. They have a small, plump body with a short, conical beak. Their overall coloration is a mix of brown and gray, with streaks of black on their sides and a reddish patch on their forehead. The males also have a pinkish-red wash on their breast and a black chin. their appearance is quite charming and unique.

In my personal experience, I have observed redpolls feeding on the ground under my bird feeders numerous times. It is always a delightful sight to see these small birds hopping and pecking around, searching for food. Their presence adds a wonderful dynamic to my backyard bird-watching activities.

To summarize, redpolls are indeed ground feeders. While they may primarily feed on nyjer seeds from feeders, they also take advantage of the spilled seed on the ground. Their distinct appearance and active feeding behavior make them a joy to watch as they forage for food.