Ellensburg Hoary-3/22 update

Scott G. Downes Downess at cwu.EDU
Fri Mar 22 15:15:14 PST 2002

An update on the redpolls, first there appears to be an influx of redpolls, I would now estimate the flock size to be 50-60 redpolls. They had been hanging out all day in the birches and cedars between 1st and second, especially in the alley between the two streets. The male was only seen very briefly this morning by myself, though many people helped it looking for it between 11 and 1. However... it appears that we have two Hoaries here as a bird that I would call a female showed up and was viewed by several through the scope. Initially we did not see the rump of this bird, though all other characteristics were very apparent on this bird including immaculate undertail coverts. I just got back in from viewing this bird again and DID see the rump this time and does have the typical unstreaked hoary rump.
So as a recap, I have not seen the male that I've been seeing for several days since about 10:15 this morning, however there is a female hoary present, and those poeple who did see this bird and had to leave before the rump was seen, let me let you know that bird IS in fact a hoary.
I have a question for people with EXTENSIVE experience with Hoaries. I looked in my Pyle and it states that Hoaries usually have unstreaked rumps, suggesting this is not a requirement. So.. My question is if all other marks are apparent, i.e. undertail, shorter bill, extensive white in the edges of the tertials and coverts, overall ashen or frosted look to the head etc.. do you believe a rump is required to confirm it is a Hoary?
Partly the reason I ask this is not to confirm identity of this bird, but for people with me today that viewed all of these traits but were not lucky enough to view the rump.

Good Birding.

Scott Downes
downess at cwu.edu
Ellensburg WA

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