Regularly occurring in small numbers in the village during this past winter, at times eruptive flocks of dozens of colorful Common Redpolls have descended upon Chignik Lake.
Determining the population status of birds in the Chignik area can be challenging. Common Redpolls (Acanthis flammea) are a case in point. Overall, there are estimated to be about 13,000,000 of these crimson-splashed passerines in Alaska – a number which surely fluctuates considerably from year to year. At home in a range of habitats including Arctic tundra, scrub alder and boreal conifer forests, their call, an electric zapping buzz, is frequently heard from high in the sky even when the birds themselves can’t be located.
In addition to the electric zapping call flying redpolls produce, perched birds have a variety of voices, including a cat-like mew.
*Click to listen to redpolls calling.
But how common are redpolls on the Alaska Peninsula? They aren’t included among the over 200…
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