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    Posted December 10, 2012 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Travel photo of the day

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    Small visitors from the great Northern forests


    CNN PRODUCER NOTE     iReporter Kalalau123 captured these gorgeous little birds known as redpolls, which breed in the northern tundra forests of the world, such in north America. Named after their distinctive red markings on their heads, the birds are rare visitors to our iReporter's garden, where they graze on feed he leaves for them. "I have seen them once or twice in great flocks in winter in Calgary," he said. "I have lived here 45 years, so this makes the second time I have seen them, fed them and welcomed them to my yard." His first image was featured as CNN's Travel Photo of the Day for October 9, 2014.
    - sarahbrowngb, CNN iReport producer

    They are called Red Polls. For they have a small red top on their heads and red breast feathers that make them unlike any other bird of our Northern forests. They migrate to southern Canada some years (1 in 20) from what I remember.
    The great flocks stop by for a few weeks and we give them niger seed, suet, and sunflower seeds. They are very flighty and hard to approach.
    They are one of winter's passing joys, though joy in winter is oft hard to find.
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