Do redpolls come to feeders?

Answered by Robert Dupre

Redpolls do come to feeders! These charming little birds are known to visit backyard feeders, especially if you offer the right type of seeds. Redpolls have small bills, so they prefer seeds that match their size. One of their favorite foods is thistle or nyjer seed, which can be offered in specialized feeders specifically designed for these small-seed eaters.

Thistle or nyjer feeders have small ports that dispense the tiny seeds, making it easier for redpolls to access and consume them. These feeders often have perches or small feeding holes that accommodate the small size of redpolls. If you have a thistle or nyjer feeder, there’s a good chance that redpolls will be attracted to it.

In addition to thistle seed, redpolls may also eat black oil sunflower seeds. While they may not be as commonly attracted to sunflower feeders as they are to thistle feeders, it’s still possible to see redpolls visiting sunflower feeders, especially if there is limited availability of their preferred seeds.

Redpolls are resourceful birds and will scavenge opened seeds left behind by larger-billed birds. If you have other types of feeders in your backyard, such as ones for larger birds like cardinals or finches, keep an eye out for redpolls taking advantage of the spilled or leftover seeds.

It’s important to note that redpolls are migratory birds, and their presence at feeders can vary depending on the time of year and their migration patterns. They are more commonly seen in northern regions during the winter months, but some populations may also breed in certain areas during the summer. If you live in a region where redpolls are known to visit, providing a suitable feeder with their preferred seeds can increase your chances of attracting them.

In my personal experience, I have been fortunate to have redpolls visit my backyard feeders during the winter months. I set up a thistle feeder, and within a few days, a flock of redpolls discovered it. It was a delight to watch these small, energetic birds flitting around the feeder and feeding on the tiny seeds. Their presence added a beautiful splash of color to my winter birdwatching activities.

To summarize, redpolls do come to feeders, especially if you provide them with their preferred seeds such as thistle or nyjer. Setting up a specialized feeder designed for small-seed eaters can increase your chances of attracting these delightful birds to your backyard. Keep in mind that their presence may vary depending on the time of year and their migratory patterns. Happy birdwatching!