Increasing trend in recent years to treat this species as three, “Lesser Redpoll A. cabaret”, “Common Redpoll A. flammea” and “Arctic Redpoll A. hornemanni”, has been shown to represent arbitrary divisions of a continuum of morphological characters, as reflected in the genetic uniformity of all populations throughout its range#R#R#R. However, for information these divisions are retained here as subspecies groups. Proposed race holboellii (described from C Germany) considered a longer- and slender-billed variant of nominate with slightly longer wing and tail, and slightly deeper pink in adult male; may predominate at N edge of Asian breeding range from Yamal Peninsula E to NE Siberia and in winter in Russian Altai, but intergrades with nominate occur in W Europe. Affinities of Icelandic population, which includes dark and pale birds, unclear: dark birds, like rostrata in size and plumage (but with marginally shorter bill and wing and paler rump), proposed as race islandica, but differences slight; pale birds, like hornemanni in bill size and plumage (but usually separable by buffish, not white, wingbars and edges of remiges, and heavier streaks below) and in wing and tail measurements to race rostrata, may have originated in Iceland, but now apparently rare and widely replaced by invading rostrata, although intermediates occur; available DNA evidence does not support recognition of islandica#R. Birds from Argyll, in SW Scotland, described as race disruptis on basis of more tawny-brown upperparts with purer black streaks, but differences reflect individual variation. Has hybridized with Linaria cannabina. Five subspecies recognized.
Introduced (flammea) to New Zealand.
Food and feeding
Status and conservation
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