Common Redpoll

Acanthis flammea (Linnaeus, 1758) FR COMRE 16633
Family: Passeriformes > Fringillidae

Common Redpoll, Graham Catley

This Continental-breeding finch feeds largely on trees seeds, birch and Alder being firm favourites, where it often joins other finch species such as Siskin and Goldfinch.

The Common Redpoll is slightly larger than the Lesser Redpoll and its breeding area is found further north and east in Continental Europe. The European breeding population is estimated at over 13 million pairs. In comparison, very few make it to British & Irish shores, where winter numbers often struggle to reach three figures. Most of the Common Redpolls that do arrive are found in eastern parts of Scotland and England, with fewer records from Wales and the island of Ireland.

In winters when its favoured tree seeds are in short supply in the wider countryside, Common Redpoll can be seen joining some of our more familiar birds at our garden feeders.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Common Redpoll

  • Breeding
  • Winter


Common Redpoll identification is often difficult.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Common Redpoll, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.



RBBP mean figure 20 bp and 'no trend available but increasing'. New record total of 19–35 pairs in 2019.


The Common Redpoll is a mainly winter visitor to Britain & Ireland from northern Eurasia, Greenland and possibly Iceland. Separating the various forms of Common Redpoll from each other and from Lesser Redpoll can raise intractable problems. During 2008–11 Common Redpolls were suspected of breeding in northern Scotland, at sites in Shetland, Orkney, Caithness and Sutherland and on the Outer Hebrides and Tiree.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2



Common Redpoll is a regular passage migrant and winter visitor, with numbers varying from year to year.

Weekly occurence of Common Redpoll from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Common Redpoll, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.



Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Gaelic: Dearcan-seilich
Welsh: Llinos Bengoch
Catalan: passerell golanegre
Czech: cecetka zimní
Danish: Gråsisken
Dutch: Barmsijs
Estonian: urvalind
Finnish: urpiainen
French: Sizerin flammé
German: Birkenzeisig
Hungarian: zsezse
Icelandic: Auðnutittlingur
Irish: Deargéadan
Italian: Organetto
Latvian: (kegis), dadzis
Lithuanian: paprastasis cimciakas
Norwegian: Gråsisik
Polish: czeczotka (zwyczajna)
Portuguese: pintarroxo-de-queixo-preto
Slovak: stehlík cecetka
Slovenian: brezovcek
Spanish: Pardillo norteño
Swedish: gråsiska

Links to more information from

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