Documentation of Common Redpoll

Observer Information

Reporter:  Thomas Litteral   
Other Observers:  none; Tresa Moulton, different feeder location.

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Common Redpoll
First Date/Time:  12/28/2012
Last Date/Time:  12/28/2012
Duration (total time in view):  15 minute
County:  Routt
Specific Location:  500 Steamboat Blvd. (private residence)
Number:  65
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Multiple Birds - Mixed
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


Gamble oak - aspen tree brushy hillside near residential feeder station. Seed is typically spread out on railing and deck to enhance feeding.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  None required. 10x Zeiss binocs.
Distance:  10 feet.
Light:  Bright sunny day.

Description of the Bird

Small finch, with red forehead, black bibs, and moderate striping on sides. Males have strong wash of rosy red on chest and sides. Bills are yellow, undertail coverts have some striping.
Behaviors: Travel as flock when approaching feeding station, and while on site. Typical finch feeding behavior on both niger and safflower seeds provided.
Call: Typical of redpolls in flocks.
Plumage: Adults & juvenials

Similar Species Discussion

Hoary redpoll. There are pine siskens and Cassin's finches also present but these are easily identified by comparison (the red top knot is a strong giveaway). So far, after long examination, none exhibit the overall paleness, unstreaked undertail coverts, and lesser black bib as expected in a Hoary redpoll.

Resources Used

Sibley's, Nat. Geo. and assorted other guides for Common/Hoary comparisons.

Previous Experience

I have previous experience in Routt County with Common redpolls.



Additional Information

Comments: The numbers of redpolls exceed any previous records I have noted in NW Colorado. I have been checking daily to see if a Hoary shows up.
Time: 12:00 pm
Elevation: 6700 ft
Other Dates: The same flock of redpolls have traveled throughout Steamboat Springs. Continuous sightings have been noted 12/15/2012 through this report date of 01/18/2013 with numbers up to 80 individuals.
Nearest Town: Steamboat Springs
Independent Observers: Tresa Moulton, different feeder location.

Materials Available

Photographer: Thomas Litteral

Photos |

2266_abcd0Redpoll in Routt.jpg

Date Documentation Submitted

1/18/2013 1:50:00 PM
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