On June 5, 2022 I received the following note:
Back on January 6, 2022, I filmed a lovely little bird that I described in THIS POST.
The record of one Hoary Redpoll on 6 January 2022 in Brownstown, Fayette County, for which you provided documentation, was recently accepted as valid by the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee (IORC).Your documentation will be housed in the IORC archives, located in the Bird Division at the Field Museum of Natural History. It will be available there to students of Illinois bird life interested in the occurrence of birds in Illinois. The file number for this record is 2022-002.
I couldn’t identify the species, and sought some help from an Illinois Facebook Group. I received mixed replies, but also a suggestion to send it to the Illinois Ornithological Records Committee for verification.
I assumed the bird was a Common Redpoll, not based on its appearance, but more so on the fact that the Common Redpoll has a southern range that does include my location, albeit rarely. It’s only reasonable to assume the more common option.
Having received the verification from the IORC, I looked at the range map for the Hoary Redpoll at eBird.org and found that my sighting is the most southern sighting reported to that organization. I am sharing that map here. The purple represents reported sightings. I put a little red house with a black circle around it approximately where we are located.
AllAboutBirds defines the Hoary Redpoll habitat as: “Nests mostly in tundra where there are shrubs or stunted trees, sometimes in crevices of rocky areas. Typically winters in the Arctic, north of (or above) treeline, occasionally farther south, where usually found in weedy fields and sometimes at bird feeders.” This is a species that usually winters in the Arctic! I consider the face that I filmed one in my backyard to be very “Cool!”