- "Southern" Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea flammea)
- "Greater" Common Redpoll (Acanthis flammea rostrata)
- is ~10% longer and ~25% heavier
- has reduced pale feather edgings
- has darker, bolder, more extensive streaking on flanks and undertail coverts
- has more extensive black on the face
- has darker auriculars, nape and back
- has a proportionately longer tail
- has a proportionately heavier bill (not apparent in these photos)
Acknowledgment: Thanks to Ron Pittaway and Michel Gosselin for their comments on an earlier version of this posting.
From Ron Pittaway
- 1992. Recognizeable Forms: Redpolls. Ontario Birds 10 (3):108-114 [pdf].
- Redpoll Challenge: four subspecies [an excellent summary and description of the four recognizeable subspecies found in Ontario].
- Photos of Hornemann's Hoary and Greater Common Redpoll.
- A summary of redpoll subspecies.
- Redpoll identification.
- Photos of Greater Redpolls.
- Redpoll investigation widens to include "Greater".
- Urging caution when identifying Common Redpoll.
- Knox, Alan G. and Peter E. Lowther. 2000. Hoary Redpoll (Carduelis hornemanni), The Birds of North America Online (A. Poole, Ed.). Ithaca: Cornell Lab of Ornithology; Retrieved from the Birds of North America Online: http://bna.birds.cornell.edu/bna/species/544 doi:10.2173/bna.544,
- Troy, D.M. 1985. A phenetic analysis of the redpolls Carduelis flammea flammea and. C. hornemanni exilipes. Auk 102: 82-96 [pdf].
- Wetherbee, O.P. 1937. A study of wintering Hoary, Common, and Greater Redpolls, and various intermediates or hybrids. Bird-Banding 8(1): 1-10 [pdf].
- Brinkley, E.S., Buckley, P.A., Bevier, L.R. and A.M. Byrne. 2011. Photo Essay: Redpolls from Nunavut and Greenland visit Ontario. North American Birds 65(2): 2-11 [pdf].
- From Jean Iron, excellent photos of Common Redpolls and Greater Common Redpolls.
- Excellent in-hand comparisons of Greater and Southern Common Redpolls from Toronto, taken by Seabrook Leckie.