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Redpoll help in Oxford, Ontario (1 Viewer)

I saw a bunch on Redpolls today, and got some pictures. I would say one is whiter than the common redpolls I'm used to seeing. I'm thinking it's a female Hoary Redpoll? The beak maybe looks smaller as well...I've been studying this picture for 20 minutes, but I'm not comfortable saying it's 100% Hoary Redpoll. Let me know what you think. The female Common Redpoll picture is from a different day just for comparison. Thanks.
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Structurally it looks quite good for exilipes - it looks quite bulky particularly around the neck and has quite a ‘pinched face’. The white fringing on the flight feathers are also good exilipes features. However, it has quite a large poll and is also quite heavily streaked on the flanks and the undertail coverts (at least on the little views we have of the latter).

Is this the only image? - the fluffed up feathers and angle of the head could be giving a misleading impression of the bill - of course a view of the rump would be even better!
 
Here's all the pictures I have of that bird. Do any of those pictures help in any way?
 

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Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Yes, these later images (with good views in image 3 of the utcs) I think dispel any hope of Arctic here.
 
Ok, thanks for the help. Thought that one was too frosty to be a common. Now I know Commons can be that frosty. I'm still new to bird watching, and it's the first winter I've seen Redpolls, so you're comments will help me better identify Redpolls in the future. Thanks again.
 

Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
Ok, thanks for the help. Thought that one was too frosty to be a common. Now I know Commons can be that frosty. I'm still new to bird watching, and it's the first winter I've seen Redpolls, so you're comments will help me better identify Redpolls in the future. Thanks again.
Commons can get quite white; this one from a couple of years ago:
 

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KC Foggin

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After a long comparison check in Google, I think it's a Common Redpoll.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Commons can get quite white; this one from a couple of years ago:
- and of course male flammea (Mealy) are frostier than females! (it would help when using reference photos to say when they were taken (also the ssp, sex and age of the individual if possible!)
Just for comparison . . . :sneaky:

That’s actually a hornemanni (Hornemann’s Arctic) I suspect, rather than an exilipes (Hoary/Coues’s) so much whiter with spanking clean flanks and under tail coverts (utcs) (so an extreme comparison!) but exilipes are much harder to separate, tend to exhibit heavier flank streaking and, females especially, have a small amount of streaking on the utcs. Also, immature/juvenile exilipes can show moderate rump colour.

Some interesting pointers here PS note in particular the unreliability of using UTCs as diagnostic fearure, also note the extreme difficulty in separating 1st Winter Mealy from 1w Arctics (Coues’s/exilipe)


You are not alone Chipster in struggling with Redpoll identification, they can confound the best and the rest of us!
 
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Nutcracker

Stop Brexit!
That’s actually a hornemanni (Hornemann’s Arctic) I suspect, rather than an exilipes (Hoary/Coues’s) so much whiter with spanking clean flanks and under tail coverts (utcs) (so an extreme comparison!) but exilipes are much harder to separate, tend to exhibit heavier flank streaking and, females especially, have a small amount of streaking on the utcs. Also, immature/juvenile exilipes can show moderate rump colour.
Can't rule that out, but I'd be surprised if they got that far southwest, and (while size is hard to judge) this has the look of a small bird as redpolls go, while hornemanni is large.

Thanks for the link, I'll check it out t'moro.
 

Deb Burhinus

Used to be well known! 😎
Europe
Can't rule that out, but I'd be surprised if they got that far southwest, and (while size is hard to judge) this has the look of a small bird as redpolls go, while hornemanni is large.
Just for clarity, I was referring to the wiki image - Quebec seems within range
There’s quite a lot of sexual dimorphism in size so perhaps a female.

Enjoy the article - it’s pretty comprehensive and a little heady but worth a read.
 

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