Common Redpoll
Acanthis flammea

– small passerine, smaller than House Sparrow
– diurnal migrant
– migrates in small to large, rather dense flocks
– very vocal
– uncertain taxonomic status, often treated as separate species:
Lesser Redpoll Acanthis cabaret and Mealy Redpoll Acanthis flammea


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2022, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– rather small and compact finch
– strong undulating flight thus wings often folded
– deeply forked, medium-length tail


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2023, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– chin and around base of bill black, red poll, fairly short yellow bill
– pinkish wash of breast and upper belly indicate an AD M (lower bird)
– basic colouration lighter than of ssp. cabaret


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2024, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– depending on angle more or less stocky
– tail seems to be longer and less forked when fanned out


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea with Acanthis flammea cabaret
BIF2038, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– right-hand bird ssp. cabaret, note darker colouration and smaller size
– the bird lowest to the right (out of focus) is very pale and unmarked and might be an AD M Arctic Redpoll


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2025, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– grey-brown back and to a different extend rather pale rump (same colour as back in ssp. cabaret)
– two whitish wingbars
– no obvious white fringes in primaries -> Common Linnet, -> Eurasian Twite


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2026, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– lighter pale grey-brown than other similar sized finches
– different colour hue between the individuals sometimes makes it impossible to be sure about ssp.


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2028, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– extend and intensity of flank-streaking very variable
– very pale and bull-necked individuals are probably of tundra origin could be Arctic Redpolls but ID very difficult (e.g. centre lowest)


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
Eurasian Siskin Spinus spinus M F
European Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
BIF2060, 01/01/2018, Parkentin, Germany, Roland Neumann
– often mixed with Eurasian Siskin, in direct comparison slightly larger
– appears elongated due to longer tail
– head rounder with shorter bill
– lacks translucent wing-band


Common Redpoll Acanthis f. flammea
BIF2027, 13/12/2017, Konow, Germany, Roland Neumann
– at greater distance pale rump and lack of white in primaries are good pointers
– due to messy flocking features not easy to observe, therefore best determined by voice


Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea cabaret, flight call, social call
BIF2029, 14/06/2009, Grainau, Germany, Michéle Peron


– complete overview –

Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea ssp., flight call, social call
BIF2030, 23/10/2008, Greifswalder Oie, Germany, Patrick Franke


Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea ssp., flight call
BIF2031, 19/11/2017, Göthewitz, Germany, Patrick Franke


– complete overview –

Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea ssp., flight call
BIF2032, 25/10/2008, Greifswalder Oie, Germany, Patrick Franke


Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea ssp., flight call
BIF2033, 16/11/2014, Mannhausen, Germany, Patrick Franke



Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea islandica, excitement call in flight, flight call
BIF2034, 14/06/2015, Kerið, Iceland, Patrick Franke


Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea islandica, excitement call in flight
BIF2035, 14/06/2015, Kerið, Iceland, Patrick Franke


Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea islandica, flight call, social call
BIF2036, 27/06/2015, Hrisey, Iceland, Patrick Franke


Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea ssp., 12, flight call
BIF2037, 19/02/2017, Mannhausen, Germany, Patrick Franke

voice:
– very vocal
– huge variation in flight calls due to ‘call matching’ between partners
and flockmates (Mundinger 1979)
– calls learned from parents or other birds near the nest
– flight call a fast series of polyphonic rather complex calls, often couplets or triplets
– ‘dry’ almost mechanical timbre like ‘che che’ somewhat similar to Red Crossbill
– social call a 300ms long, polophonic upslur, very similar to Eurasian Siskin

comparison species:
Eurasian Twite (v)
European Greenfinch (a)
Common Linnet (v)
Red Crossbill (a)
Two-barred Crossbill (a)
European Serin (v)
Eurasian Siskin (v)

References:
Ernst, S 1998. Die Birkenzeisige, Verlag der Buchhandlung Klingenthal
Herremans, M 1989. Vocalizations of Common, Lesser and Arctic Redpolls, Dutch Birding 11
Molau, U 1985. Grásiskkomplexet i Sverige, Vár Fágelvërld 44
Mundinger, P C 1979. Call Learning in the Carduelinae: Ethological and Systematic Considerations, Systematic Zoology, Vol. 28
Pieplow, N 2013. Common and Hoary Redpolls, earbirding.com
Pieplow, N 2017, Peterson Field Guide to Bird Sounds of Eastern North America, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Veprintsev, B N & Zablotskaya, M M 1982 . Acoustic communication of the Hornemann’s Redpoll Acanthis hornemanni, Pushchino
Zablotskaya, M M 1981. Acoustical communication of the Common Redpoll Acanthis flammea flammea Pushchino

#songbird #passerine #finch

#ornithology #birdmigration #birdID #birdguide #birding #birdwatching #birdsound #westernpalearctic #europe #vismig #flightcalls #middleeast #northernafrica #workinprogress