Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2008-05

Common name:

Common Redpoll

Scientific name: Carduelis flammea
Date: 23 Mar 2008
Time: 1:50 PM to 2:15 PM
Length of time observed: 2 min or less on each of three occassions
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: Richmond
County: Cache
Distance to bird: estimated 10-20 yards
Optical equipment: Nikon Monarch 10x42 binoculars, Nikon spotting scope with 20x eyepiece, and Pentax Optio W30 digital camera
Weather: Sunny, some thin high clouds, no wind, upper 40s Farenheit
Light Conditions: Sunny, light either bright and direct or periodically bright and diffuse
Description:        Size of bird: About the same size as the American Goldfinches it was seen with.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Small finch
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Generally whitish base color with extensive brownish patterning and streaking, pink wash on breast with red and black on head.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Short yellow bill with straight culmen.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Finch body form, whitish base color with brown and brownish-gray patterning, white wing bars, streaking in undertail coverts (not well seen) and rump, pinkish wash throughout most of the breast, indicating this was an adult male, with little or no brown streaking on the breast. Blurry dark streaks through flanks. Back densely streaked with medium brownish gray and tan. Red cap on the top of the head with black chin (black patch ending abruptly at the breast), short yellow bill, culmen mostly straight and sharply sloping. Dark lores. Faint diffuse whitish ring around the eye, but not a distinct eye ring. Eye was dark.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None observed to come from this individual.
Behavior: Feeding periodically at a thistle feeder with dozens of American Goldfinches. Spent most of the time out of sight in dense branches of trees and shrubs. Fed briefly at the feeder on three occassions during the period of observation.
Habitat: Front yard of a rural/suburban home.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
This bird was overall too dark for a Hoary Redpoll, with streaking in the rump and undertail coverts. Also, it had an extensive pink wash throughout the breast, more so than seen in a Hoary Redpoll.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have observed several small flocks of this species on one occassion in New Hampshire and one occassion in Minnesota. This is my first experience with this species in Utah.
References consulted: None at the time of observation or in the preparation of this report. I am familiar with descriptions of this species in the Sibley Guide to Birds.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Ryan P. O'Donnell
Observer's address: 1098 Crescent Dr., Logan UT 84341
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Craig Fosdick, John Barnes, Keith Archibald, and Ron Ryel.
Date prepared: 24 Mar 2008
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: