Documentation of Common Redpoll

Observer Information

Reporter:  Margaret Viens   
Other Observers:  my husband Kenneth Viens, was also there and I pointed them out to him as birds we also have at home; but he is not a birder, so did not pay much attention.; yes

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Common Redpoll
First Date/Time:  1/3/2013
Last Date/Time:  1/3/2013
Duration (total time in view):  30 minutes
County:  Eagle
Specific Location:  often in a birch tree or at feeders across the street from 4258 Wildridge Road West, B in Avon.
Flocks were also seen at feeders around the corner on a dead-end street: June Point

Number:  27
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Multiple Birds - Mixed
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


scrubby brush on side of mountain, plus occasional planted trees in the housing development: birches, oaks, spruces and fir trees

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Swarovski 8X32 bins, could see clearly with naked eye at times as well
Distance:  15 feet at times, other times 30 yards
Light:  bright sunshine, seen from all sides at multiple times so had clear looks at only about 15 feet away at times.

Description of the Bird

Small finch-type bird with dark brown/black and white streaks overall. Short stubby yellow bill with darker area around the bill. Dark red cap on head and the males had extensive pink wash to their breast which varied between individuals as to the amount of pink.

I live in central Maine, and Common Redpolls are fairly common feeder birds in my yard, especially during interuptive years when I may have as many as 300 at once; so I am very familiar with Redpolls. I was not aware at the time that it was an unusual bird for Colorado or I woudl have tried to get more photos of the bigger flock.
Behaviors: They flew overhead in a small flock ranging from 8 to 27 birds at the various times I saw them over the 5 day period I was in Avon, CO visiting my son. The flock would undulate and fly in quick turns as swooped overhead to find a suitable tree or bush to land on. They were easily "phished" out of the bush to tee up for photos.

They often stayed close to a birch/aspen tree across the street from 4528 Wildridge Road B, Avon, CO where they had a sock-type niger feeder which they used and also picked seed from the ground.
Call: noisy rapid high pitched calls as they flew in a flock, often ended in a rising trill-like noise
Plumage: dar brown/black and white streaked bird

Similar Species Discussion

I saw them well and see them often at home in Maine so it was an immediate identification. I knew they were not pine siskins as the bill was not pointy enough and they did not have yellow-streaking on the sides; and the Redpolls ahd the distinctive dark aroudn the bill with the red-cap They were smaller than the house finches also seen in this location - but again had the definitive red-cap.

Resources Used

not needed

Previous Experience

as mentioned above I have see Common Redpolls hundreds of times in the past 10 years as they are common birds in Maine. During interuptive years I have had as many as 300 at my feeders at once, almost eating me out of house and home ;) They are fairly common this season as well and I have seen flocks 30 or more times already this winter.



Additional Information

Comments: I apologize for not taking specific notes at the time, but I had no idea it was a rare sighting. I hope I have been helpful.
Time: 2:56 p.m.
Elevation: 8,500
Other Dates: 01/04/2013, 01/05/2013, 01/06/2013
I saw the birds multiple times of day within our week-long stay at my son's house whenever I went out for a walk in the neighborhood and I could also see them from his window. I have entered my sightings in e-bird and can only document more exact times from the photos I took.
Nearest Town: Avon
Independent Observers: yes

Materials Available

Photographer: Margaret Viens

Photos |

2254_abcd0Common Redpoll - 4258 Wildridge Road, Avon, CO - 3 - Jan 2013.jpg

Date Documentation Submitted

1/17/2013 10:10:00 AM
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