Thursday, February 07, 2008

Counting Redpolls

We have had a lot of Redpolls visiting our feeders this year and when a huge flock arrives I often think to myself, ".. there must be at least a million!" An exaggeration? Well, definitely yes; but the numbers of birds does seem that impressive at times. The other day I took a photo of a small group that had landed in our tall Silver Maple Tree and then tried to count them. I am very bad at estimating numbers in groups and have a tendency to err on the side of less, rather than more.

How many Redpolls were in the group? To get an accurate count I printed off the picture and then grouped the bunches as I counted. How close was your estimate? There were 90 Redpolls in all. This is a counting method that works best for me.

9 comments:

NW Nature Nut said...

What pretty birds. I would have underestimated too. That's a very good way to count them. I will try that next time I have a "million" goldfinches or pine siskins.

Island Rambles Blog said...

Such a lovely pretty bird wish we had them here....I also am terrible at counting eagles..and next year I am going to write each tree number down so we can get an estimate of how many eagles at each tree...counting is hard!!!!

April said...

What a beautiful close-up shot of a Redpoll! We have them here in central B.C. too, but I don't think we've ever had that many.

Mary said...

Great pictures for all of us jealous people who don't have Redpolls! Good idea for the counting. I would never have guessed that high a number.

me and my camera said...

I have always enjoyed taking pictures of the male Redpolls and I took this opportunity to include a couple of my favourites.

Nature Nut
I haven't seen a Pine Siskin or a Goldfinch for a long time now; I recall we used to have 'millions' of Siskins on occasion too.

Island
Lucky you that you have so many Eagles to count! My Eagle sightings are usually one at a time at times far between.

April
I love taking 'bird portraits', its always surprising when you can see such fine detailing up close...these beautiful creatures are such works of art!

Mary
I think most of us would have underestimated the number of Redpolls in the picture. I was quite surprised to find that there were 90!

Thank you all...
Moi

Sandpiper said...

WOW! These birds are so pretty. I would love to see one someday.

me and my camera said...

Sandpiper: I think a closeup view is most always more advantageous to really being able to appreciate the distinct colouring and beauty of a species. Glad that you enjoyed.

Christopher said...

I find there are usually a few stragglers or foragers on the fringes of the flock, so numbers are quite possibly even higher.

For a similar counting exercise, count the Blue Jays in a photo I've posted here:

http://sackvillebirder.blogspot.com

me and my camera said...

That is a fun counting exercise, Christopher, and a great Blue Jays picture! I think others reading this comment would enjoy counting all the jays in your photo too...

So,readers, you just might want to check it out too.