A photographer captures a migrating redpoll’s stop for a snack
AS LOVELY as any holiday ornament, a male common redpoll perches on an alder branch, where brown cones and drooping catkins offer a tempting snack. Bird photographer Marie Read placed the alder branch in her Ithaca, New York, backyard near feeders full of thistle, or nyjer, seeds, another favorite food of these passerine finches.
Nesting in Arctic tundra and boreal forest, redpolls may fly south in winter, occasionally in large numbers during irruption years. Read made this image during one such event in 2011, when scores of the birds flocked to her yard. Despite the snow, she sat for hours in a blind to capture the show.
“I’ve always been fascinated with birds,” says Read. “They’re so colorful and full of life.” Author of four books on birds, Read also lectures on bird-friendly gardening, teaching how to transform yards into bird havens. One of her tips: “Don’t clear away dead flowers that can feed the birds,” she says. “My yard is a total mess!”
To submit images for consideration, write to email@example.com with “Nature’s Witness” in the subject line.
Meet five species that felt the impacts of climate change-fueled disasters in the United States this past year.Read the Story
President and CEO Collin O’Mara reveals in a TEDx Talk why it is essential to connect our children and future generations with wildlife and the outdoors—and how doing so is good for our health, economy, and environment.Watch Now
What's on deck with the National Wildlife Federation? Check out our scheduled events—we just might be coming to a city near you!See Events
Place your order today for the themed box that delivers everything you need to create family memories while discovering nature and wildlife.Learn More
More than one-third of U.S. fish and wildlife species are at risk of extinction in the coming decades. We're on the ground in seven regions across the country, collaborating with 52 state and territory affiliates to reverse the crisis and ensure wildlife thrive.