David Moulton, Marilyn Palmer, Jim Nowak;
Species, Date, Time and Location Information
Duration (total time in view):
1 hr 30 min
322 Hilltop Parkway
Multiple Birds - Mixed
Bird feeder between our house and neighbor. Neighbor's yard has aspen, maple, and conifer trees close to the feeder. Redpolls also perched in bare aspens at back of our lot.
Nikon Edg binoculars, 8x42
Light conditions did not impact the quality of the observation--see photos
Description of the Bird
Finch smaller than House Finch and larger than Pine Siskin. Dark wings with one long and one short bar. Males have red cap, black around orange beak (both top and bottom), reddish-pink wash on breast, and broad streaks on flanks. Back of bird is streaked. Females similar except no reddish-pink wash on breast.
Behaviors: Eating hulled sunflower seeds, or occasionally nyger, at my feeder. First observed December 9, 2012, and continuing through present (January 22, 2013). Numbers vary from 1-2 per day (good weather) to 65 or more (cold and snowing). Usually traveling in a flock, perching in aspen, maple or conifer trees near the feeder or in yard. Usually arrive fairly early in the day.
Call: Not heard; birds are at feeders and I am inside the house.
Plumage: Adult male and female
Similar Species Discussion
House Finches and Pine Siskins are also present. House Finch is larger, does not have an orange beak nor black around the beak. The male House Finch's red wash is more of an orangey red. The Pine Siskin is smaller than a Common Redpoll, has no red on the body, and does have yellow on the wings. Have not seen any Cassin's Finches this winter, but they would be considerably larger than the Redpolls and males have a red crest and only faint streaks on the flanks. None of the Redpolls appeared light enough in color to be Hoary.
Sibley Field Guide to Birds of Western North America and National Geographic Field Guide. Both were used at the time of sighting.
I have seen Common Redpolls on two previous occasions in Steamboat Springs, and regularly see House Finch, Cassin's Finch, and Pine Siskin.
Date Documentation Submitted
1/22/2013 5:26:00 PM
Click left or right edges of photos to move through all; click outside image to close