Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Interesting redpolls from Jan 20th in CT

Here are three birds of interest. All photos are completely unedited except for cropping.

Possible 'rostrata' Common Redpoll (Greenland subspecies):



Common Redpoll, possibly of the Greenland form rostrata

This bird appeared massive, large-billed, rather plain-faced and dark hooded. I have two concerns though.
1) Is it dark enough? Since adult male redpolls tend to be the palest of the lot, this is may be fine for adult male rostrata.
2) The bird was constantly fluffed out to varying degrees, which would make it appear larger than it really is (we thought it might be sick). It appeared nearly twice the size in bulk of the nearby flammea Commons, a freaking monster. It is difficult to compare an apple to oranges, but I would have a hard time believing that this bird was the size of a typical flammea, especially given its large bill size.

Two frosty non-adult male redpolls (maybe Hoary, maybe not):

Bird #1:
rear/left bird
Pale upperparts including lower scaps, pale face, short "pushed-in" bill.

Bird #2:


top left bird

top right


top bird
Pale upperparts including lower scaps, short bill, lightly streaked rump, pale buffy wash to upper breast and face

There's not enough seen on these birds to confidently identify them IMO. They stuck out as distinctly pale birds among the 100+ Commons and have the facial expression that I associate with Hoary, along with other features such as less side streaking. I have a strong suspicion that these are darker female/immature exilipes Hoary Redpolls, the type that more easily blends into a flock of Commons.

Your bog standard flammea Common Redpolls
 - Nick

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