Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2011-66

Common name:

Common Redpoll

Scientific name: Acanthis flammea
Date: 11/25/2011
Time: 1:40 pm
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Garr Ranch
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 10-12 feet
Optical equipment: Leica 8x50 binoculars
Weather: Cold, clear, strong breeze.
Light Conditions: Bird was in the shade most of the time, as it was perched relatively low in vegetation near the spring.
Description:        Size of bird: About size of American Goldfinches it was with.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Finch
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Whitish with brown streaking
(Description:)            Bill Type: Finch
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small, goldfinch-sized finch with whitish underparts, yellowish pointed conical bill, brownish streaks on sides of flanks, streaked upperparts, red forecrown, dark eyeline with white incomplete eyering, blackish patch under bill. With American Goldfinches at the spring in the woodlands near the building.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: No vocalizations.
Behavior: Sat in shrubs, and later in trees.
Habitat: Shrubs and trees on the north side of the spring at Garr Ranch.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Eliminated American Goldfinch because they do not have a rich yellow conical bill, red forecrown, and are not whitish overall with streaking. Pine Siskin was eliminated because it has a smaller, thinner black, bill; they also lack the red forecrown, and although they are heavily streaked, they are darker overall, have streaks across the entire front of their breast (not just the sides and flanks), and have yellow wing patches. I eliminated Hoary Redpoll because it has a frostier appearance overall, and has a shorter stubbier bill; however I did not have good looks at the undertail coverts (which are also important for separating Common Redpoll vs Hoary Redpoll).
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Have seen and have extensive experience with Common Redpoll, Pine Siskin, Lesser Goldfinch, American Goldfinch. Have seen Hoary Redpoll once.
References consulted: None at time.
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Craig R. Fosdick
Observer's address: PO Box 443, Logan, UT, 84323-0443
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: EJ Raynor
Date prepared: 11/16/2011
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: EJ Raynor took numerous photographs; I did not have a camera.