Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-26

Common name:

Common Redpoll

Scientific name: Acanthis flammea
Date: 27 Feb 2013
Time: 11 am
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 6+
Location: Brighton Loop Road at top of Big Cottonwood canyon
County: Salt Lake Utah
Elevation: 8700 ft
Distance to bird: 25 feet
Optical equipment:  Zeiss binoculars
Weather: clear and cold (15 deg) no wind
Light Conditions: bright sun
Description:        Size of bird: small, 4-5 inch max
(Description:)       Basic Shape: finch like
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: brown with light pink breast
(Description:)            Bill Type: finch like, dark
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Back was brown with prominent streaking. Black chin was prominent. Breast was plain gray with a pinkish tone Staring on the lower chest and moving toward the belly there was brown streaking most prominent in the flanks. Two white wing bars, not particularly prominent. legs were dark
Song or call & method of delivery: Mostly "chit chit vocalization as it flew
Behavior: Small flock of redpolls intermixed with 15 + mountain chickadees. Moved frequently and hung on branches like chickadees flitting between alders and short evergreens (?spruce). Flew across street to taller spruces and one stopped on telephone wire directly overhead. Undulating flight
Habitat: Trees and brush adjacent to an open field
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Pine siskin: No yellow, dark cap and no streaking on breast itself. Bill was not slender but rather finch like
Other finches: Too small and lacked any of the markings of house finch
Hoary redpoll: too dark
Crossbills: lacked crossed bill
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Seen on occasion at backyard feeder in Michigan and closely in Cache a week ago (separate report)
References consulted: Sibley's, iBird Pro
Description from: From memory
Observer: John C Ruckdeschel, MD
Observer's address:  (local ) 1552 Redstone Dr. Park City Utah; (home) Las Vegas, NV
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: 27 Feb 2013
Additional material: