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Merlin Bird ID

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    Hoary Redpoll Life History


    Habitat ScrubBreeds in open subarctic coniferous forest and scrub, and sheltered riparian areas on tundra. Winters in open woodland and scrub, weedy fields, and suburban and urban areas.Back to top


    Food SeedsVery small seeds, such as birch, willow, alder, grasses, and weeds. Also arthropods in summer.Back to top


    Nest Placement

    Nest Shrub

    Nest Description

    An open cup of grasses, plant fluff, twigs, rootlets, hair and feathers. Lined with thick layer of feathers or plant fiber. Placed low in small tree or shrub.

    Nesting Facts
    Clutch Size:1-6 eggs
    Egg Description:Pale green to pale blue, with dark spots and speckles at large end.
    Condition at Hatching:Helpless and with little down.
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    Behavior Foliage GleanerFeeds on small branches, often hanging upside down. Uses feet to hold food items. Will visit bird feeders, especially thistle feeders.Back to top


    Conservation Low ConcernThere is little information on Hoary Redpoll population numbers and trends because of its remote breeding and wintering areas. Partners in Flight estimates a global breeding population of 30 million, with 17% wintering in the U.S., and 48% spending at least part of the year in Canada. The species rates an 8 out of 20 on the Continental Concern Score. It is a U.S-Canada Stewardship species. Hoary Redpoll is not on the 2016 State of North America's Birds' Watch List. Back to top

    Backyard Tips

    This species often comes to bird feeders. Find out more about what this bird likes to eat and what feeder is best by using the Project FeederWatch Common Feeder Birds bird list.

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    Knox, Alan G. and Peter E. Lowther. 2000. Hoary Redpoll (Acanthis hornemanni), version 2.0. In The Birds of North America (P. G. Rodewald, editor). Cornell Lab of Ornithology, Ithaca, New York, USA.

    Lutmerding, J. A. and A. S. Love. Longevity records of North American birds. Version 2015.2. Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, Bird Banding Laboratory 2015.

    Partners in Flight. 2017. Avian Conservation Assessment Database. 2017.

    Sibley, David Allen. 2014. The Sibley guide to birds, second edition. Alfred A Knopf, New York.

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