Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-05

Common name:

Hoary Redpoll

Scientific name: Carduelis horemanni
Date: January 5, 2013
Time: 9 AM
Length of time observed: 10 Minutes
Number: 1
Sex: male
Location: Near Park City
County: Summit
Elevation: 7,300
Distance to bird: 15-20 feet
Optical equipment: Swvarski 10 x 42
Weather: clear and cold
Light Conditions: good
Description:        Size of bird: similar to all the other common redpolls with it
(Description:)       Basic Shape: finch-like
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: see below
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Very white overall when compared with the Common Redpolls. No streaking on the breast and some faint brown streaking along the flanks. Light pink wash across the breast, but not continuing into the face or the belly. No streaking was visible on the undertail coverts. The rump appeared to be all white with no streaking. When all the birds would spook and fly off the feeder this bird was obviously whiter than the others in the rump and back, making it quite easy to pick out of the flock as they flew away.
(see photo)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Coming to bird feeder (thistle & sunflower seeds)
Habitat: Mostly Scrub Oak with a few pines
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
It was with 50-60 Common Redpoll (apparently there have been as many as 120+ at this location). This gave us a lot of opportunity to study the variation of streaking and color in the Common Redpolls, which was considerable. Most showed much heavier streaking in the sides the males showed much more red in the breast. A few of the Common Redpolls had less streaking than others, but none of them had little streaking as this bird. Also none of the other birds appeared overall as white or frosty in the head and back. As noted above, we did not see any others that had a rump as white as this bird either.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen Hoary Redpoll twice in Alaska and have seen Common Redpolls many times
References consulted: Sibley & National Geographic Field Guides
Description from: From memory
Observer: Bryan Shirley
Observer's address: 1465 South 50 West, Payson, Utah
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Dennis Shirley & Alton Thygerson
Date prepared: Jan 9, 2013
Additional material: Photo
Additional_Comments: The photo was taken through a window