Common Redpolls in Lafarge Meadows

IMG_9156 (Lafarge Meadows - male)b

I headed to Lafarge Meadows yesterday because I’d never been to that part of Fish Creek Park before and a recent post on Birds Calgary had piqued my interest. American White Pelicans? Yes please! The post also mentions a lone Hooded Warbler. Hooded Warblers don’t usually visit Calgary; the theory is it got lost on its way to Mexico and ended up in the Lafarge Meadows. Poor little warbler! I figured the exotic warbler would not stay long, but J forwarded 2 news articles to me this week which said the little fellow was still around. I did not catch a glimpse of the black and yellow cutie but I did meet 3 people who had seen it and were hoping for a second look. I didn’t see any pelicans either (they’ve likely migrated further south by now).

But I did see a Common Redpoll, a bird I’d never seen before! They breed worldwide in the far north (mostly north of the 60th parallel). Some live year round in northern Canada and Alaska, while others winter all over Canada and the northern half of the US. You can see the map on All About Birds. They can survive in temperatures as low as -54 degrees Celsius (-65 degrees Fahrenheit) and some tunnel into the snow to stay warm on cold nights.


On a path along the Bow River, I heard the bushes singing, stopped and looked around for movement. A few minutes later, a little group of sparrow-sized, light-brownish birds flew into a nearby bush, flitted about from branch to branch, moved to another bush, then another bush and then out of sight. I managed to capture a few clearish photographs. When I got home, I identified two species – Common Redpolls and American Tree Sparrows.


    • Thanks for enjoying my blog Laura :-). It is always interesting for me to hear who else in North America (or elsewhere in the world) is seeing the birds I’m seeing. I enjoyed your blog as well – I like the way you capture the plants around you, in words and photographs, as the seasons change. I recognized many of the plants I see here. And I learned two new flower names – Cosmos (I saw them in a few places in Calgary this fall) and Forget-Me-Nots (I saw these in Vancouver in the spring).


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