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Lesser Redpoll | by Trevsbirds
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Lesser Redpoll

The Lesser Redpoll is a small, dumpy bird whose upperparts are grey-brown with darker streaks. They have two buff coloured wing bars, dark streaks on the whitish flanks and a dark brown forked tail. However, the most distinguishing features are the red forehead and black bib. visit my website


In the summer, the cheeks, throat, breast and rump of the males are pink.


The females are similar to the males, except in the summer they are duller and rarely have any pink in the plumage.


Redpoll is one of the species that ornithologists do not seem able to decide on whether there are several species, subspecies or races. To skirt around this issue, I refer to them as "types".


There are 4 types of Redpoll found in Britain, all look very similar to one another but they are visibly different, here they are ranked in increasing size:

1.The predominant British type is the Lesser Redpoll (C. cabaret), which is described in more detail above.

2.The north European type is the Common 'Mealy' Redpoll (C. flammea), which is a winter visitor and is larger (about same size as a Linnet) and greyer looking than the Lesser Redpoll.

3.The third type is the 'Greenland Redpoll' (C. rostrata), which is another winter visitor and is larger than the Common Redpoll and darker than the Lesser Redpoll.

4.The final type is the Arctic Redpoll (C. hornemanni), which is a rare vagrant from Greenland and Lapland and is slightly larger than the 'Greenland Redpoll' and has a white rump and underparts.

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Taken on February 2, 2014