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Looking for help with the nuances of redpolls

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  • Karla Hart
    I ve had lots of opportunity to study hundreds of redpolls close and at length lately, with the big Sibley close at hand and I m still not confident to make
    Message 1 of 2 , Mar 2, 2008
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      I've had lots of opportunity to study hundreds of redpolls close and at length lately, with the "big" Sibley close at hand and I'm still not confident to make the call on Common vs. Hoary Redpolls. On eBird I see reports of Hoary and I do see individual variation in the redpolls. But lack the confidence to make the call. I've even been staring at their undertail covert patterns when I can, but there "the common averages more streaks".
       
      Can anyone offer anything more definitive?
       
      Karla
    • Paul Suchanek
      I have also looked at a lot of redpolls at close range over the last couple of weeks, and I only identified my first hoary redpoll the other day. Attached are
      Message 2 of 2 , Mar 2, 2008
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        I have also looked at a lot of redpolls at close range over the last couple of weeks, and I only identified my first hoary redpoll the other day.  Attached are a couple photos of this female bird which shows the light back (note the lack of brown compared to nearby birds) and lightly streaked undertail coverts, although I have seen females which are less streaked on the sides in the past.  Other experienced birders I know have yet to see a hoary in the current irruption of birds.   I have also been seeing a bird which is larger than any other redpoll and also quite darkly streaked, although it doesn't show the brown colors which are supposedly characteristic of the Greenland race of common redpoll.  I do see a few male redpolls which are very lightly streaked (and often have a lot of red on the breast) but I think are still common redpolls as I generally pick out hoary redpolls by their much lighter back and white rump.  If you want, you can also check out this additional information from Sibley (you can also find more info at this web address): 
         
         
        When even David Sibley is having trouble, you know it's not an easy ID problem. 
         
         
        ----- Original Message -----
        Sent: Sunday, March 02, 2008 12:38 PM
        Subject: [Eaglechat] Looking for help with the nuances of redpolls

        I've had lots of opportunity to study hundreds of redpolls close and at length lately, with the "big" Sibley close at hand and I'm still not confident to make the call on Common vs. Hoary Redpolls. On eBird I see reports of Hoary and I do see individual variation in the redpolls. But lack the confidence to make the call. I've even been staring at their undertail covert patterns when I can, but there "the common averages more streaks".
         
        Can anyone offer anything more definitive?
         
        Karla

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