Hoary Redpoll

From SongbirdReMixWiki

Jump to: navigation, search


Common Name: Hoary Redpoll
Scientific Name: Acanthis hornemanni

Size: 4 ¾ - 5 ½ inches (12-14 cm)

Habitat: North America and Eurasia; Breeds in open subarctic coniferous forest and scrub, and sheltered riparian areas on tundra. Winters in open woodland and scrub, weedy fields, and suburban and urban areas.

Status: Least Concern. Global Population: 30,000,000 Mature individuals. This species has undergone a small or statistically insignificant decrease over the last 40 years in North America.

Diet: Very small seeds, such as birch, willow, alder, grasses, and weeds and arthropods in summer. Redpolls feed on small branches, often hanging upside down. It will found use its’ feet to hold food items and will visit bird feeders, especially ones with thistle seed.

Breeding: The females are more streaked on their breasts, sides and rumps, but are still pale. Juveniles resemble females.

Nests are an open cup of grasses, plant fluff, twigs, rootlets, hair and feathers, then lined with thick layer of feathers or plant fiber. Usually found low in small tree or shrub. 1-6 pale blue-green with dark spotted and speckled eggs are laid.

Cool Facts: Also known as the Artic Redpoll. Two subspecies of Hoary Redpoll are recognized: the southern (C. h. exilpes) and the Greenland (C. h. hornemanni) forms. The southern form breeds across Canada, Alaska, and Eurasia, and is slightly darker and sleeker. The Greenland form breeds only in the very high Arctic of Greenland and neighboring Canada, and is very pale with a large white rump.

The Hoary Redpoll will breed in open tundra, but usually in small willows and other shrubs in sheltered areas. When suitable nest sites are unavailable, it has been known to nest in cavities in driftwood.

The Hoary Redpoll has very fluffy body feathers that help it stay warm in extremely cold temperatures. In addition, it has feathers on areas of its body that are bare in most other birds. If temperatures get too high, a redpoll may pluck out some of its body feathers and get rid of some of its insulation. These feathers will grow back in a few days, but by then in the high arctic environment, temperatures probably will have dropped back to normal.

Coming Soon

Personal tools