Common Redpoll (Carduelis flammea). They are small brown and white birds with streaked sides and two white wing bars. They also have a red forehead and black feathering on the face around a yellow bill. The males are distinguished from the females by red feathers on the upper chest.
Ted Black’s Birds of Michigan field guide describes the Common Redpoll as a predictably unpredictable winter visitor. They eat a variety of foods including birch and alder seeds or sunflower and nyjer thistle seed at the feeders.
They eat up to 42 percent of their body mass every day; storing seeds in a throat poach in their esophagus to eat at a later time. Their focus on food helps make wintering redpolls remarkably fearless of humans.
Their common name is derived from the color and “taking a poll” or counting heads. The species name Carduelis flammea means “goldfinch flaming”.