Documentation of Common Redpoll

Observer Information

Reporter:  Tina Mitchell   
Other Observers:  None; None

Species, Date, Time and Location Information

Species:  Common Redpoll
First Date/Time:  12/15/2012
Last Date/Time:  12/15/2012
Duration (total time in view):  5 minutes
County:  Fremont
Specific Location:  38.381757

Number:  1
Age:  Unknown
Sex:  Male
Plumage:  Other/Unknown


High-altitude pinyon/juniper habitat, with a predominance of pinyons. The feeder was in a large pinyon.

Viewing Conditions

Optics:  Zeiss 10 x 40 binoculars
Distance:  25
Light:  Bright late morning light clearly illuminated the bird.

Description of the Bird

More slight than the House Finches and Dark-eyed Juncos in the area, the bird's red cap and dark area around the beak stood out. The unstreaked chest also set it easily apart from a Pine Siskin; the lack of yellow, from the American Goldfinches. This male was a different bird from the one we saw on 12/8 in the same location, in that the pink on the chest was considerably deeper than the one we saw before. Not a Hoary Redpoll, since its brown streaking was quite dark.
Behaviors: He was eating sunflower seed on a large feeder approximately 25 feet from my view spot. He was quite skittish and frequently was chased from the feeder by House Finches and American Goldfinches.
Call: None heard.
Plumage: adult

Similar Species Discussion

Slighter and more delicately colored than House Finches. Pink wash and lack of streaks on breast differentiated it from Pine Siskin. Lack of yellow eliminated American Goldfinch. Coloring distinct from any other common birds in our area.

Resources Used

I had already identified a Common Redpoll the week before, so the field marks were quite clear in my mind from that bird. I used Sibley Guide to Birds for initial ID and to confirm that first sighting.

Previous Experience

I had seen a different Common Redpoll on 12/8, so I recognized this bird.


Notes made AFTER observation

Additional Information

Time: 10:30 a.m.
Elevation: ~7000
Other Dates:
Nearest Town: Coaldale
Independent Observers: None

Materials Available

No files uploaded.

Date Documentation Submitted

1/20/2013 4:09:00 PM