Redpoll (Carduelis flammea)


[order] PASSERIFORMES | [family] Fringillidae | [latin] Carduelis flammea | [UK] Redpoll | [FR] Sizerin flamme | [DE] Birkenzeisig | [ES] Pardillo Sizerin | [NL] Barmsijs


Genus Species subspecies Breeding Range Breeding Range 2 Non Breeding Range

Physical charateristics

Common Redpolls are approximately 12 to 14 centimeters in length. A small gray-brown finch with a deeply forked tail, Common Redpolls have highly variable plumage characteristics.

A Common Redpoll is a streaky finch with pale feathered edges. The forehead and crown are red, whereas the lores and chin are black. The eye line is dark; the supercilium is pale. The cheeks are a darker gray than the rest of the head and nape. The median and greater coverts are solid gray with broad pale tips that create two wing bars. The flight and tail feathers are gray with buff-colored edges. The rump is pale and streaked with gray. The breast, flanks, and belly are whitish in color. The breast and flanks are streaked, but the amount of streaking varies. Males have a variable amount of rose wash across the upper breast that is not apparent in females. The yellow bill is sharply pointed, with a black tip and culmen. The female is similar to male, but darker and streakier. Little or no red, except on crown.

Listen to the sound of Redpoll


Copyright remark: Most sounds derived from xeno-canto

wingspan min.: 21 cm wingspan max.: 23 cm
size min.: 12 cm size max.: 14 cm
incubation min.: 10 days incubation max.: 12 days
fledging min.: 9 days fledging max.: 12 days
broods: 2   eggs min.: 3  
      eggs max.: 6  


Eurasia, North America : North


Breeds in open subarctic coniferous forest and scrub. Avoids dense forests. Winters in open woodland and scrub, weedy fields, and suburban and urban areas.


Between the months of April and August. the female constructs the nest on branches of spruce or in the crevice of a Willow anywhere from 1-2 meters above the ground. It is an open cup of fine twigs, rootlets and grasses. Lined with thick layer of feathers or hair . Placed in small tree or shrub. The eggs are greenish white to pale blue, spotted with purple at large end. The ctch Size is usually 4-6 eggs. Incubation lasts 10-11 days, the chicks fledge after 12 days, broods: 1, occasionally 2.

Feeding habits

Feeds on small branches, often hanging upside down. Uses feet to hold food items. Frequently visits bird feeders, especially thistle feeders


This species has an extremely large range, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the range size criterion (Extent of Occurrence <20,000 km2 combined with a declining or fluctuating range size, habitat extent/quality, or population size and a small number of locations or severe fragmentation). Despite the fact that the population trend appears to be decreasing, the decline is not believed to be sufficiently rapid to approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population trend criterion (>30% decline over ten years or three generations). The population size is extremely large, and hence does not approach the thresholds for Vulnerable under the population size criterion (<10,000 mature individuals with a continuing decline estimated to be >10% in ten years or three generations, or with a specified population structure). For these reasons the species is evaluated as Least Concern.
Carduelis flammea is a widespread resident across much of northern Europe (occurring
more patchily farther south), which accounts for less than half of its global range. Its
European breeding population is very large (>8,800,000 pairs), and was broadly
stable between 1970-1990. Although the trend of the stronghold population in Russia
during 1990-2000 was unknown, the species was broadly stable in most other key
populations in its European range, and there was no evidence to suggest that it
declined significantly overall.
Redpoll status Least Concern


European birds mainly resident, with in some winters large influxes can occur of Northern birds. New World birds Winter s to c U.S. (vagrant to n Calif.), n Mediterranean region and c Asia. Introduced in New Zealand and Macquarie Island, vagrant on Lord Howe Island. (Sibley Charles G. 1996)

Distribution map

Redpoll distribution range map

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