Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-12

Common name:

Common Redpoll

Scientific name: Acanthis flammea
Date: 15 Mar 2015
Time: 12:52 PM
Length of time observed: 1 minute
Number: 1
Age: Uncertain, but not adult male.
Location: Logan
County: Cache
Elevation: ~4500 feet
Distance to bird: 5 feet
Optical equipment: Nikon SLR
Light Conditions: Diffuse mid-day sunlight.
Description:        Size of bird: Small finch, approximately Pine Siskin size
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Small finch, approximately Pine Siskin shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: See details below.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Pointed yellowish bill with black.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Distinctive redpoll, small streaky finch with red cap and yellowish bill. See photos and Similar Species for more details.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None.
Behavior: Perched briefly near my sunflower seed feeder but did not land on it. Not obviously associated with any other birds (not in a mixed flock). Perched for less than a minute and then flew off, not to be seen again.
Habitat: Residential neighborhood.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Cassin's Finch can be superficially similar, including an apparent cap that is redder than the rest of the bird, but Cassin's Finch is larger, lacks the black "bib", and does not have a yellow bill. The most similar species is Hoary Redpoll, which is eliminated by the extensive streaking in this bird's undertail coverts, the overall well-marked aspect of this bird (not pale and "frosty"), and the relatively large and long bill, not short and stubby.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have experience with both redpoll species. Common Redpolls were a regular migrant on St. Paul Island, Alaska, where I worked as a birding guide for the 2012 season. I have also seen them on several occasions elsewhere, including Minnesota, Idaho, and Utah. For example, see records 2008-005, 2012-45, 2013-03, 2013-10, 2013-15, and 2013-17. I have seen Hoary Redpoll on five occasions, 13 total birds, all on St. Paul Island, Alaska.
References consulted: None.
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
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: Stephanie Cobbold.
Date prepared: 17 Mar 2015
Additional material: Photos  
Additional_Comments: eBird checklist: