The brown and white birds, smaller than a sparrow, have a distinctive red forehead patch, rosy breast (males) and streaked sides.
When I’ve seen the Common Redpolls in our area, they’re traveling in flocks of 40 to 50 birds.
They’re very skittish, making it a challenge to view and identify them before they fly off to another tree.
In a typical winter, Common Redpolls are seen in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and Wisconsin. They breed in the Arctic and travel south for winter.
Which is why so many birders in Michigan are delighted to see them in the Lower Peninsula, including me!