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Bird name:

Lesser Redpoll

Carduelis cabaret




Finches (Fringillidae)





Euring 5

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Breeding Location:

Hedgerows, Heathland, Plantations, young conifer, Woodlands

Breeding Type:


Egg Colour:

Pale bluish or greenish with reddish or brownish blotches and streaks.

Number of Eggs:

3 - 7

Incubation Days:

10 - 14

Egg Incubator:


Nest Material:

Twigs and stems, followed by a layer of roots, grass, moss, and leaves and then a lining of feathers, and wool.

Nest Location:

Coniferous tree or shrub


Some migrate


Lesser Redpoll: Small finch with stubby bill. Rose-red on front, throat, and breast. Black line through eye and around base of bill. Black wings and tail with pale edging and white wing bar. Tawny-brown above with black streaks. White belly and vent with some thick, brown streaking. Undertail coverts have at least one, dark streak. Female young birds like male but lack red on underparts. Often in flocks, undulating flight.

Range and Habitat

Lesser Redpoll: Resident breeder throughout much of the the UK and Ireland. During summer breeding birds may be seen throughout Scotland, Wales, Ireland and northern and coastal England. During winter, birds migrate to southern and central England. Prefers forest habitat. Also found in garderns, parks, and hedgerows.

Breeding and Nesting

Lesser Redpoll: Several monogamous pairs nest near to each other in a loose colony. The female builds a cup-shaped nest of twigs and stems in a coniferous tree or shrub. Male feeds female while she incubates eggs, usually 4 or 5. Both parents care for young, which fledge within a fortnight.

Foraging and Feeding

Lesser Redpoll: Feeds mostly in trees on small seeds such as those of birch and alder; also feeds on fruit buds. Will also take small invertebrates on the ground.


Lesser Redpoll: During breeding season sings from perches or in flight. Song comprises single or repeated calls in short combinations: "chit-chit-chit-chit." Call is a plaintive, nasal, drawn-out whistle; rising in pitch, "swee-ee-eet."

Similar Species

Lesser Redpoll: Common Redpoll is slightly larger and shows more grey. Twite is larger, has a more buff-coloured throat, lighter brown plumage, and a more distinct eyering. Linnet is larger, has whitish edges to outer tail and primary feathers, greyish head, and a paler rump.


Belly, undertail coverts, chest, flanks, and foreneck.

Undertail covertsX
Small feathers that cover the areas where the retrices (tail feathers) attach to the rump.
The ventral part of the bird, or the area between the flanks on each side and the crissum and breast. Flight muscles are located between the belly and the breast.
The upper front part of a bird.
Birds do not have two separate cavities for excrement and reproduction like humans do. In birds, there is one single entrance/exit that suits both functions called the vent, cloaca or anus.
4 and 6 letter alpha codesX

The four letter common name alpha code is is derived from the first two letters of the common first name and the first two letters of common last name. The six letter species name alpha code is derived from the first three letters of the scientific name (genus) and the first three letters of the scientific name (species). See (1) below for the rules used to create the codes..

Four-letter (for English common names) and six-letter (for scientific names) species alpha codes were developed by Pyle and DeSante (2003, North American Bird-Bander 28:64-79) to reflect A.O.U. taxonomy and nomenclature (A.O.U. 1998) as modified by Supplements 42 (Auk 117:847-858, 2000) and 43 (Auk 119:897-906, 2002). The list has been updated by Pyle and DeSante to reflect changes reported by the A.O.U from 2003 through 2006.


The Integrated Taxonomic Information System (ITIS) was established in the mid-1990 s as a cooperative project among several federal agencies to improve and expand upon taxonomic data (known as the NODC Taxonomic Code) maintained by the National Oceanographic Data Center (NODC), National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

To find the ITIS page for a bird species go to the ITIS web site advanced search and report page at You can enter the TSN or the common name of the bird. It will return the ITIS page for that bird. Another way to obtain the ITIS page is to use the Google search engine. Enter the string ITIS followed by the taxonomic ID, for example "ITIS 178041" will return the page for the Allen's Hummingbird.

Parts of a Standing birdX
Head Feathers and MarkingsX
Parts of a Flying birdX