RPWinston's picture

Redpoll juvenile? Common or Lesser?

Observed: 3rd March 2010 By: RPWinstonRPWinston’s reputation in BirdsRPWinston’s reputation in Birds
Redpoll female
Redpoll (2)
Species interactions

No interactions present.


ophrys's picture


There are no juvenile Redpolls around at this time of year. Young birds born in a particular year moult from their juvenile plumage in late autumn of that year, and they lose most of the juvenile feathers and replace them with adult type feathers. At this time of year, the youngest birds would be those born last spring/summer (which look virtually the same as adults).The next batch of true juveniles will appear in May/June this year, mostly.

This bird is an adult Lesser Redpoll, or possibly one born last year .


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RoyW's picture

Both Lessers

I would be fairly confident in calling both of these Lessers (that doesn't mean that the confidence wouldn't be misplaced though! ;o) ).
Both are very buff toned, with noticeably buff wing bars, and neither looks particularly bulky.

Presumably you have based the aging as a juvenile on the lack of an obvious red patch on the top of the head? This is subject to a lot of individual variability, and can be reduced, orange or yellow in colour, or even completely absent in some individuals.

It's interesting to see the different scientific names given here. An the moment taxonomists can't agree how many species of redpoll there are, or whether they should be included in a genus of their own (Acanthis), or included in Carduelis with many other finches!