Very Happy Bird Day!

Attract redpolls and shop

A Very Happy Bird Day!

A couple of weeks ago I treated myself to a few new Duncraft bird feeders. I got them home, filled them with seed, and waited for the birds to come. I waited, and waited, and waited. After ten minutes, I gave up in despair of ever seeing a bird at my feeders. I’m not very patient, even though I know (and tell our customers) that it can take a few weeks for birds to start visiting a new feeder. You can imagine my excitement on Christmas Day when I saw a hairy woodpecker and 3 downy woodpeckers investigating my Duncraft Suet Sanctuary filled with Nutty Treat Suet Cakes. That was the best present I could have asked for!

Redpoll on a cold dayYesterday, my husband was very excited to report that my feeders were covered with birds but he wasn’t sure what kind. “Maybe some sort of sparrowy things,” he thought. Sparrowy? This morning, I was just ready to head out to work and the birds were back. To my absolute delight, the sparrowy birds turned out to be a flock of about 25 common redpolls. They zipped in and out through the mesh of the Suet Sanctuary and the Duncraft Metal Safe Haven and had a quick nosh before quickly heading on to their next stop. The next time they come through I’ll look more carefully to see if I can spot a hoary redpoll or a few pine siskins in the flock.

Redpolls breed in subarctic forests and open tundra and then head south to winter in Canada and the northern United States, Great Britain and northern Europe. Their favored foods are the seeds from birch, alder, willow and weeds. Redpolls are one of the smallest birds to winter in the far north, and they have adapted ingeniously to survival in their harsh northern climate. The redpoll has a small pouch in the neck called an esophageal diverticulum. The birds gather seeds and store them in this pouch. Then they fly off to a sheltered spot where they can husk and eat the seeds, protected from icy winds and predators.  The pouch holds enough food to get the bird through the night, even at temperatures as low as -81 degrees Fahrenheit.2692

Life in the North can have its drawbacks but it’s hard to complain when you think of the amazing wildlife we get to enjoy. It would be wonderful to hear stories from our readers around the country – what kinds of birds are you seeing in New Mexico or Florida or Minnesota? Please share your reports of your winter visitors! You can simply leave a comment in the field below the blog, or send me an email at We would love to hear from you!

Make every day a Happy Bird Day!

Heidi Babb

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  • Julia Opipari January 2, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    Today, I had 4 male Cardinals and about 7 female Cardinals on the ground while a Blue Jay was in the fly-through feeder and a Red-Bellied Woodpecker was on the suet feeder…GLORIOUS!!

  • Nevada Annie January 14, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    In our Mojave desert location we have house wrens and sparrows all the time along with mourning doves on the platform feeder and on the ground. Red winged blackbirds are everywhere. We have a beautiful blue and green parrot that has been visiting for the last several months – don’t know where he came from. We have also seen several hawks recently. They come after the doves.