Re: possible Hoary in New Meadows?

Richard and Ann Rusnak

Great day of "winter" birding for sure.
Bob Kiernan and I birded up Brownlee Rd, NW out of Gardenia yesterday. The only thing of note was an enthusiast songster the Bewick's Wren.
Adios, Rich Rusnak 

0:55 PM, Jay Carlisle wrote:


6 of us headed to the New Meadows & McCall area today in hopes of finally tracking down a Hoary Redpoll and I think maybe we did :).  A New Meadows birder had reported up to a few Hoaries at his feeder (rd to Packer John cabin) on the Great Backyard Bird Count so we figured it was worth a try.  

After about an hour of feeder watching, we found a potential young female Hoary (see attached photos by Denise Hughes) but it's been 14 yrs since I saw one (in Alaska) so I'm a little uneasy on pulling the trigger on anything but an obvious adult male! 

That said, all of us watching this bird agreed it looked different. The bill seemed smaller than nearby Commons while viewing it.  And, the bird was paler than all other Commons and, for a female, the rump and undertail seemed much paler than others and the sides were certainly less streaky (less streaky even than some Hoary pictures I've looked at).

Looking thru several of Sibley's online articles on redpoll ID (and following links to many example pics) made me feel pretty comfortable in leaning towards Hoary but .... any opinions? ;-) 

We also looked behind Paul's Market in McCall & found 50+ Bohemian Waxwings & 5+ Pygmy Nuthatches ... & more redpolls near the USFS offices.


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