Belongs to: finches

Compare with: siskin

Redpoll Carduelis flammea

Best time to see: all year

Key facts

Small finch of conifer plantations

Habitat: for breeding, young conifer plantations or thickets of birch, alder,thorn or willows

Once widespread resident, now in severe decline; some migrate south in winter


Small, streaked-brown finch with red forehead and black chin (m has pink breast in summer); 11–13 cm

Rarely leaves the trees; lively and sociable, flocking with siskins or other finches in winter

Feeds acrobatically mainly on seeds of birch and alder, plus weed, conifer and willow seeds; also feeds young on insects


Nest is a flimsy cup lined with down in a bush or tree

1 or 2 broods of 4–6 pale blue eggs, speckled reddish, May to June

© Robin Chittenden