Photography and commentary from John Fujimagari

The Redpolls Are Here

Redpoll (acanthis flammea) 5

The Common Redpoll (acanthis flammea) are one of my favourite winter birds. They are so brightly colored and seem to have a light spirit, singing and flitting about even in the coldest weather.

They used to come only on the most bitter cold days when there was no other food source. I had read somewhere that they liked Nyger (black thistle) seed, and since we started filling a feeder with nyger, they have been coming more often.

Redpoll (acanthis flammea) 3

Little birds are some of the hardest things to photograph. They move quickly and are not in the same location for very long. If one sits still for a few seconds, you have to get your shot then, before it flies off again. Also they are so small, you need a lot of glass to get them large in the viewfinder. All of these images were taken with my Nikon D300s with a Tokina 80-400mm zoom @ 400mm with a Kenko 1.4x teleconverter. So, 400mm times 1.4 for the converter makes it 560mm, and the 1.5 crop factor for the DX body makes it equivalent to 840mm. What all of that means, is that on a film or full frame digital body, you would need an 840mm lens to get the same focal length.

Redpoll (acanthis flammea) 1

I used to think that these birds were different colored Redpolls, but it was pointed out to me that they were a different kind of finch (redpolls being of the finch family). After consulting my bird reference material, I determined that they are House Finches (carpodacus mexicanus).

Redpoll (acanthis flammea) 4

These House Finches seem to travel with the Redpolls and show up when they the Redpolls do. Both are welcome additions to any winter day. I hope they’ve made your day more enjoyable.

In the best light…


One response

  1. very pretty birds – great shots!


    April 8, 2011 at 07:25

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