Finches (Fringillidae)

Arctic Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni) - HBW 15, p. 565

French: Sizerin blanchâtre German: Polarbirkenzeisig Spanish: Pardillo Ártico
Other common names: Tundra Redpoll, Hoary Redpoll; Hornemann's Redpoll (hornemanni)

Taxonomy: Linota hornemanni Holboell, 1843, Ameralikfjord, Greenland.
Previously placed in genus Acanthis. Relationships with closely related C. flammea complex, and in the past was considered either a colour morph or a race of that species, but differs in measurements, structure and plumage, and breeding ranges overlap widely with little or only occasional interbreeding; evidence from mitochondrial DNA suggests that the two, together with C. cabaret, are probably best regarded as closely related sister-species or forming a superspecies; despite wide genetic variation within their ranges, however, recent studies have found little support fo.. View all taxonomy...

Taxonomy: Linota hornemanni Holboell, 1843, Ameralikfjord, Greenland.
Previously placed in genus Acanthis. Relationships with closely related C. flammea complex, and in the past was considered either a colour morph or a race of that species, but differs in measurements, structure and plumage, and breeding ranges overlap widely with little or only occasional interbreeding; evidence from mitochondrial DNA suggests that the two, together with C. cabaret, are probably best regarded as closely related sister-species or forming a superspecies; despite wide genetic variation within their ranges, however, recent studies have found little support for lineage division between arctic-breeding and boreal-breeding redpolls, and comprehensive review of gene flow still required in order to determine species limits; pending conclusions of any review, may need to be reclassified within Acanthis. Present species hybridizes with C. flammea in N Norway. Two subspecies recognized.

Subspecies and Distribution:

  • exilipes ( Coues, 1862) - breeds in extreme N Eurasia from N Norway, N Sweden and N Russia E to Bering Sea and Anadyrland, and in N North America from W & N Alaska E in Canada to N Yukon, N Nunavut and N Manitoba; winters N Europe and S in Asia to N China (NW Xinjiang, Gansu and E Inner Mongolia) and Sakhalin I, and throughout Alaska and Canada and S Greenland.
  • hornemanni ( Holboell, 1843) - breeds N Canada (Ellesmere I, Axel Heiberg I, Devon I, Bylot I, and N & E Baffin I) and W & E Greenland; winters S to C & NE Canada (to N Quebec and Labrador) and NE USA (New England).