Boreal Birds
300+ species, billions of birds rely on Canada's boreal forest as critical breeding grounds
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Hoary Redpoll

Hoary Redpoll
Carduelis hornemanni
Perching Birds | Family: Finches, Fringillidae

An estimated 18% of the species' North American breeding range lies within the Boreal Forest.

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Overview

The Hoary Redpoll generally breeds and winters farther north and on more open tundra than the related Common Redpoll, only occasionally reaching the northern United States. In areas where their ranges overlap in parts of Canada and Alaska, the two birds do not interbreed, although some experts consider them two forms of a single species.

Description

4 1/2-5 1/2" (11-14 cm). Smaller than a sparrow. Similar to the Common Redpoll but slightly paler, with a smaller bill and an unstreaked rump and undertail coverts.

Voice

Series of metallic chips given in flight; soft twittering calls when feeding on ground. Calls are sharper than those of Common Redpoll.

Nesting

5 or 6 pale blue eggs, lightly spotted with brown, in a feather-lined cup of grass and shreds of bark, concealed under a rock or a clump of tundra vegetation.

Habitat

Weedy pastures and roadsides in winter, tundra in summer.

Range/Migration

Breeds along Arctic coasts, wandering southward in winter to much of Canada and northern United States.