Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2002-

Common name:

Common Redpoll

Scientific name: Carduelis flammea
Date: From 27 Jan to 13 Feb 2002
Time: many sightings from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm during the 2 weeks
Length of time observed: from a few seconds to 5 minutes each time
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: female
Location: My backyard feeder in Provo, Utah
County: Utah
Elevation: ~4600 feet
Distance to bird: ~25 feet
Optical equipment: 8 x 44 Bosch & Lome Elite Binoculars
Weather: differing weather conditions, but mostly clear
Light Conditions: varied, but mostly sunny
Detailed description of bird: This bird was about the same size as the Pine Siskins and American Goldfinches which were in the group it seems to be with. A circular red area covered the top front of its head. The bill was light yellow orange and similar to the goldfinches bills in shape. Below the bill was a small black rectangular chin area that broadened towards the breast. The breast was white with heavy streaks on the flanks and undertail coverts. The lores were black and the eyebrow was almost white. The back of the bird was very streaky from the back of the head down to the tail including the rump.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: Song not hear
Behavior: It followed the goldfinches and siskins to the thistle feeder and would go to the same peg on the feeder almost every time. It would eat for from 30 seconds to several minutes and the fly off.
Habitat: Backyard thistle feeder
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
This birded differed from the Hoary Redpoll by having very prominent stripes on the flanks, undertail coverts and rump. The bill seemed to be larger rather than smaller when comparing the bird to the picture in the bird guides over two weeks, I had a lot of time to check field guide pictures.
Previous experience with this & similar species: My only other experience with this bird was a few weeks earlier in Mantua. I got good looks there too. I've never seen a Hoary Redpoll.
References consulted: Sibley's Guide to Birds and National Geo. Soc. Birds of North America
Description from: From memory
Observer: Milton Moody
Observer's address: 2795 Indian Hills Drive, Provo, UT  84604
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
about 40 other people saw this bird including Merrill Webb and Dennis Shirley
Date prepared: 16 March 2002
Additional material: 2 photos by Steve Walters