Hitler misses a hoary redpoll | video

Arctic redpoll Carduelis hornemanni Hoary Redpoll in North America

by Grrlscientist on January 16, 2013 · 1 comment

in Birding North America

SUMMARY: If Hitler had been a bird watcher, how might he have reacted to not being the first person to see and photograph hoary redpolls in Colorado recently?

If Hitler had been a birder in the United States, this is what may have happened when the hoary (Arctic) redpoll was recently spotted by someone else in Colorado:

 

[video link]
The Arctic redpoll, Carduelis hornemanni, is commonly known as the hoary redpoll in North America. This tundra-breeding songbird (family: Fringillidae) is circumpolar. Most birds remain in the far north in winter, although some individuals may travel south in winter, sometimes in the company of their smaller, browner and streakier cousins, common redpolls, C. flammea.

There are two subspecies of Arctic redpoll. Coues’s Arctic redpoll, C. h. exilipes, which breeds in birch forests of the northern tundras in North America and Eurasia, is smaller and slightly darker than the Greenland race, C. h. hornemanni. Although Arctic redpolls are larger and paler with smaller beaks than common redpolls, these redpolls are challenging to distinguish in the field, especially since there is some overlap between females of the two species.

This scene is from Downfall (English translation), a German film that tries to give an accurate depiction of the final days of Hitler. Soon after release of the film, hundreds of parodies of this particular scene have appeared on YouTube.

When New York magazine asked the film’s director, Oliver Hirschbiegel, about these parodies in a 2010 interview, he said that many of them were funny and they were a fitting extension of the film’s purpose: “The point of the film was to kick these terrible people off the throne that made them demons, making them real and their actions into reality. I think it’s only fair if now it’s taken as part of our history, and used for whatever purposes people like.” [as cited here]

Top photo: Tundraurpiainen — Arctic redpoll, Carduelis hornemanni, is commonly known as the hoary redpoll in North America.
Image: Juho Holmi (Finland) (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.)

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Read more about this year’s Arctic redpoll irruption in Colorado.

NOTE: this piece is slightly edited from the original, which was published on the Guardian.

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  • Jason Kessler

    “Maybe they will lump them.”

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