"Hornemann's" Hoary Redpoll and "Greater" Common Redpoll

2 photo pages and The Redpoll Challenge on page 3

Two subspecies of Common Redpoll (left) and two subspecies of Hoary Redpoll showing relative proportions and coloration. Drawing by Michel Gosselin of the Canadian Museum of Nature. Published in Ontario Birds 10(3): 108-114, 1992.


Above photo from American Birds 42 (2): 239, 1988.


"Hornemann's" Hoary Redpoll (hornemanni on right) with Common Redpolls found by Ron and Doug Tozer on the Minden Christmas Bird Count on 15 December 2007. Ron Tozer described it as "dramatically larger and paler with a more massive head and neck than adjacent Common Redpolls, steep 'pushed-in' bill appearance, limited flank streaking, unstreaked rump with pale pink, pure white undertail coverts, longer tail, broader white greater covert bar, and pale pink on upper breast indicating a male." It was at a feeder in front of house on west side of Deep Bay Road south of Minden just south of Tennyson Road. Photo by Doug Tozer.


Ron Pittaway (left) and Mark Peck, Collections Manager, examining redpolls at the Royal Ontario Museum on 26 November 2007.


Ron Pittaway with Ontario's most famous redpoll. This "Hornemann's" was collected about 1863 in Galt, now Cambridge in Waterloo Region, and the record was mentioned in the AOU Check-list (1957).


"Hornemann's" Hoary Redpoll donated to the Royal Ontario Museum by the McIlwraith Collection of the Hamilton Museum. This is the specimen that Hamilton's George North often admired and studied carefully in the 1920s. It prepared him to find a Hornemann's for his southern Canadian record of four redpoll subspecies in one day on 23 March 1958. They were in the same flock. This winter of 2007-2008 is one of the few winters in a lifetime to tie North's record, which to our knowledge has not been equalled in southern Canada or the United States.


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