Arctic Redpoll

Acanthis hornemanni (Holböll, 1843) AL ARCRE 16640
Family: Passeriformes > Fringillidae

Arctic Redpoll, Scott Mayson

This snowball of a finch, as its name suggests, hails from the far north and is a winter visitor to the UK in small numbers.

The Arctic Redpoll is a tough little bird and its occurrence in the UK in any winter is variable depending on the weather conditions further north. In some winters, Arctic Redpolls can reach double figures, whilst in others they will be completely absent. They are only very rarely found in Ireland.

Coue’s Arctic Redpoll (a subspecies) also occurs in the UK during the winter. It is darker than Arctic Redpoll but shares the general frostiness. This subspecies breeds closer to the UK than Arctic Redpoll and is a little more frequent to visit. It can occur in large numbers in some winters.

Select a topic for more facts and statistics about the Arctic Redpoll

2.4k records observations recorded by BTO surveyors
2.4k records



Arctic Redpoll identification is often difficult.


Listen to example recordings of the main vocalisations of Arctic Redpoll, provided by xeno-canto contributors.


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Status and Trends

Population size and trends and patterns of distribution based on BTO surveys and atlases with data collected by BTO volunteers.


This species can be found on the following statutory and conservation listings and schedules.


We have no population estimates for this scarce species.


Arctic Redpolls are rare winter visitor originating from breeding populations in northern Greenland and northern Scandinavia through to northern Siberia. During Bird Atlas 2007–11 they were recorded from 19 10-km squares, mostly in coastal and lowland areas in eastern England. There was a small influx into the Northern Isles in autumn 2010 but the records from the five 10-km squares in the Northern Isles all referred to birds present only in November when possibly still on passage.

Occupied 10-km squares in UK

European Distribution Map

European Breeding Bird Atlas 2



Arctic Redpoll is a scarce vagrant, typically seen in October but some birds have wintered.

Weekly occurence of Arctic Redpoll from BirdTrack
Weekly occurrence patterns (shaded cells) and reporting rates (vertical bars) based on BirdTrack data. Reporting rates give the likelihood of encountering the species each week.


Information about movement and migration based on online bird portals (e.g. BirdTrack), Ringing schemes and tracking studies.


View a summary of recoveries in the Online Ringing Report.


Lifecycle and body size information about Arctic Redpoll, including statistics on nesting, eggs and lifespan based on BTO ringing and nest recording data.


Sample sizes are too small to report Productivity and Nesting statistics for this species.


Sample sizes are too small to report Biometrics for this species.

Feather measurements and photos on featherbase


For information in another language (where available) click on a linked name

Welsh: Llinos Bengoch Coue
Catalan: passerell àrtic
Czech: cecetka belavá
Danish: Hvidsisken
Dutch: Witstuitbarmsijs
Estonian: hele-urvalind
Finnish: tundraurpiainen
French: Sizerin blanchâtre
German: Polarbirkenzeisig
Hungarian: szürke zsezse
Icelandic: Hrímtittlingur
Italian: Organetto artico
Latvian: gaišais kegis
Lithuanian: poliarinis cimciakas
Norwegian: Polarsisik
Polish: czeczotka tundrowa
Portuguese: pintarroxo-boreal
Slovak: stehlík polárny
Slovenian: polarni brezovcek
Spanish: Pardillo Ártico
Swedish: snösiska

Links to more information from

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