Chirps and Cheeps

A Photo Journal of My Birding Adventures & Observations

My birding blog site


  A Hoary?

Published: February 07, 2013
Tags: My Feeders, Hoary Redpoll

As I walked past my kitchen window this morning, I saw a bird at the feeders that made me stop right in my tracks.  I studied it for awhile, realized it was a redpoll, but it just didn't appear the same as the others who have been coming by for the last couple of months.  Could it be a Hoary?!

It was obviously a female, larger than the other redpolls, pale in front and definitely lighter on her back between the wings.  I grabbed the camera and just about filled up the memory card with pictures of her.  I've been poring over the photos in my guides and online references - but I just can't be sure if she was a Hoary. I'm hoping someone else can give a positive ID.

The bird seemed ravenous.  She started at the feeder filled with the WBU special blend, hopped down to the deck floor, up to the thistle sock, walked and picked at the seeds along the deck railing, then back to the deck floor.  As I watched, all the while, she closed her eyes frequently.  I'm not sure, but I wonder if she was tuckered out from a long flight. One can only surmise what these little travelers encounter on their way down from the arctic. And I hope her stop at our feeders was just what her depleted energy reserves needed!

blog photo
Could this be a Hoary Redpoll?

blog photo

blog photo
A good look at her back

blog photo

blog photo
Another good back shot

blog photo

blog photo
Her eyes were closed almost half the time

blog photo
Her bill doesn't seem smushed-in, does it?

blog photo
I think the undertail should be lighter for a Hoary?

blog photo
And the rump should be pure white?

button link to my bird search