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Thread: Where did all the Red Polls go??

  1. #1
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Question Where did all the Red Polls go??

    In years past I would have hundreds of Red Polls at the feeders. At almost any time they were there.

    This year I have not seen one. I have asked the neighbors and they haven't seen any. We are being over run with Pine Grosbeaks. Before this year I had never seen a Grosbeak at the house.

    Is anybody else seeing a major shift in the local bird demographics?
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  2. #2

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    I have seen this in the past. Not sure exactly why. There was a few years ago when there was more Grosbeaks in the yard than normal. Haven't seen them lately though. Not really sure why. I know the redpolls prefer thistle seed over the sunflower seeds. They have smaller beaks. Try switching your feed. I am sure the redpolls will come back. I kinda like seeing the grosbeaks though.

  3. #3
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    I live about 5 miles from you and I see small birds all the time. I canít tell what they are with out using binocular, Iím guessing there black-capped chickadees. There an article a few weeks back on the Anchorage bird count, it said a single pine siskin was seen. I do not know if that is the same bird your asking about because this is the first year Iíve been interested in birds. Iím using them to make me a better moose caller. Not kidding.

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    Guess they all flew up North as we've had a huge flock of redpolls hanging out around here all winter. The most frequent viewings I have ever seen. They usually come and go in small flocks, but this year the flock is big and they are hanging around and can be seen every day. Same goes with the crossbills. Maybe the reason they want to stay is it was a bumper crop of cones and the birches had a good summer too.

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  5. #5

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    If you have a bumper crop of cones you're fixing to have a bumper crop of firewood. When a spruce starts to load up with cones it's dying.
    Chuck

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    Member Alaska Grandma's Avatar
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    We haven't had a big crop of cones in a few years, I hear that isn't just us in the Eastern Interior either. The squirrels are mighty happy to not have to survive on spruce bough tips!

    We already live in a dying forest so lot of dead standing wood around. Plus the 2004-2005 fires made for plenty of firewood close by (too close by)too. Good thing as it is -53 this morning. Time to throw a few more logs in the fire!

    Grandma Lori
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    He wouldn't have given us grandmothers. ~Linda Henley

  7. #7
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    Red polls are way down at my place in Eagle River as well. I was told that their population typically explodes, then crashes. Looks like we are on the down side.

  8. #8
    Supporting Member bullbuster's Avatar
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    Must have been a terrible crash. Not ONE has been sighted this year.

    The nuthatches seem to be thrice of the normal numbers.
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  9. #9
    Member Daveintheburbs's Avatar
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    After not having any this winter a flock of about 30-40 redpolls showed up at the feeders Saturday. A smaller group than the clouds of birds we have seen in past years, but still a decent sized flock. Interestingly we have also seen comparatively few grosbeaks as well, but a crowd of them showed up with the redpolls. They even had a couple of magpies that seemed to be following the whole crowd. Everybody stuck around for a couple of hours then were gone.

  10. #10
    Member 6XLeech's Avatar
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    We've had an uptick too - but mainly nuthatches.
    A few Stellar Jays already on the peanut feeder.
    No redpolls so far - agree dramatic change compared to last year - seasonal variation makes sense.

    Having the nuthatches take whole (shelled, raw) peanuts all winter from the Stellar Jay feeder was our biggest feeding surprise this year.

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