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Melissa Mayntz

Northern Finch in Southern California

By February 14, 2012

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Winter is a great season for seeing northern finches as they spread south to escape the most brutal cold, but a new visitor to southern California is the first ever recorded sighting of its kind in San Diego County. According to the San Diego Union-Tribune, a common redpoll has been spotted in Julian, appropriately enough visiting feeders at a local wild bird store.

In the past century, fewer than a dozen common redpolls have been recorded in California, and the furthest south was near Fresno, more than 350 miles north. The typical range of these tiny finches is still further north - they nest in the Arctic and spend winters primarily in southern Canada or the northern United States.

Vagrant birds are common in the winter, bringing uncommon sightings to many birders. What unusual birds have you seen this season? Share your sightings in the comments!

Common Redpoll
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