Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-63

Common name:

Common Redpoll

Scientific name: Acanthis flammea
Date: 11/19/2017
Time: 10:35
Length of time observed: 1:15
Number: 1
Location: Alta Town feeders, Alta Utah
County: Salt Lake
Elevation: 8650'
Distance to bird: 25 to 75 feet
Optical equipment: Nikon Monarch 5 8x42 binocs, Zeiss Victory Diascope scope with 20-75x eyepiece.
Weather: Sunny
Light Conditions: Full sun, some shade on the feeder.
Description:        Size of bird: Smaller than the nearby rosy-finches.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Fihch-like.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Brown and white with heavily streaked sides.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Conical yellow bill.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small bright red forehead patch, black feathers around the yellow bill, whitish wingbars, streaked rump.
(see photo)
Song or call & method of delivery: Did not hear it call.
Behavior: The bird sat for minutes at a time in one spot, allowing time to set up the scope and get great views. Very active in terms of looking left, looking right, shifting left, shifting right, but it stayed in one spot for ~5 minutes at a time, then went to the feeder, then back to the trees.
Habitat: Aspen grove adjacent to the Alta Town feeders, generally at mid- to upper-tree elevations.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Hoary Redpoll would be paler and have a smaller bill, and an unstreaked rump, per Peterson Western Birds 1990.
This bird has a streaked rump.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Life bird for me. I've researched Redpolls recently because one was seen at Powder Mountain recently.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds 2000, Sibley Birds West 2016, Peterson Western Birds 1990, and online resources such as
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bill Hunt
Observer's address: 1184 W 4400 S Apt 7
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 11/20/2017
Additional material: Photo
Additional comments: