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mfoster.vt

Possible Hoary Redpoll in S VT

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I had a flock of Redpolls visit my feeders today.  This particular bird was much lighter in color than the rest of the flock, but not sure it is light enough to call it a Hoary. Seeing what folks here think. It may be a mute point. I just read a pretty long article on Cornell about recent genetic research on Common and Hoary Redpolls. Seems there is negligible genetic difference in the two "species" and they may be all one specie with expression differences counting for the different coloration. It may be that in the near future the experts may just call these all a variation of the same specie. I might try to report it if people here think it might be a Hoary.

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Sorry! This is a ways off for a Hoary, pretty far into the Common side of things actually, so I think it's a pretty safe bet genetically. Tons of thick flank streaking, undertail streaking, big bill, and overall 'relatively' dark, and least for a Hoary. I understand the struggle, Hoary is one of the last 'easy' birds I need to pin down for my Ontario list before it starts getting really hard. It's interesting about the genetics as well, as there is several very distinct subspecies of each of Hoary and Common as well, just to make things even worse genetically speaking. This bird is a flammea, the 'intermediate' form of Common that's close to the exilipes form of Hoary.

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