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February 2009


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Rare Bird Alert <[log in to unmask]>
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Sat, 21 Feb 2009 18:05:17 -0700
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Early on Thursday the 19th, I noticed an unusual redpoll among the multitudes coming in to my feeders. Not a "classic" adult male Hoary (dang-it!), but a bird I have determined to be an immature female, similar to the bird photographed by Bob Dunlap awhile ago in Nicollet County. This decision was reached only after several observations and much study that day, and also yesterday, with excellent views from no more than 8 feet away, from above and below. Consulting THE BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA (BNA), the bird clearly shows the two  "best plumage characters" described in that text: a clean white rump and under tail coverts with 1-3 hairline streaks (this bird shows only 1 thin streak on the under tail). Of course, there are other typical field marks, pale plumage, limited and diffuse streaking on the sides and flanks, small bill, etc. I invited a few people over for consultation and opinions, and Jim Mattsson was able to take several photos.

I have waited to report this bird because I wanted to be certain of the ID. I had hoped it would reappear today due to the snowy weather, but for some reason I wasn't getting much activity most of the day. At 4:43 PM, the bird finally made an appearance, and my wife also had an opportunity to see it for the first time. Oddly, it came in alone, with no other redpolls or finches for company. Anyone interested can contact me to see if it reappears.

Coincidentally, Mark Ochs (in Apple Valley), also had a
0Hoary come in to his feeders this morning. He had a classic adult male, but the bird was only present briefly and didn't return the rest of the day. He was also able to get photos.

Drew Smith

Eagan, Dakota County


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