Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 14b-2001

Common name:

Prairie Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica discolor
Date: 9/30/01
Time: 11:00 - 12:15
Length of time observed: viewed three times for approx 15 min.
Number: 1
Age: Immature
Sex: Female
Location: Quail Creek Reservoir Inflow, Harrisburg - Cottonwood Wash confluence
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation:  ~950 m
Distance to bird: 3-12 m
Optical equipment: Leica 10-42 binoculars
Weather: Warm (85-90 F), clear, calm
Light Conditions: Good mid-day light
Detailed description of bird: Head grayish; dark loral stripe through eye, pale white arcs below and above eye, dark spots on sides of throat/neck most visible from head on view; Back and wings green, with two indistinct yellowish wing bars; Underside bright yellow from chin to undertail coverts, brightest on throat and gradually fading towards tail; Sides with dark gray streaks (double line, slightly blurred) extending to flanks; Thin black beak, legs black; Tail upperside greenish, occasionally showing white, white outer tail spots visible in flight, underside of tail white, with black edges on outer sides near tip, incessantly pumped tail lowering it from horizontal plane. Small and very active foraging low in shrubs and trees. (see drawing and field notes)
Song or call & method of delivery: Silent
Behavior: Incessantly pumped tail lowering it from horizontal plane. Small and very active foraging low in shrubs and trees. Observed actively foraging in rabbitbrush and Baccharis, preening in willow, and gleaning aphids from underside of cocklebur leafs.
Habitat: Quail Creek Inflow Riparian area: primarilly willow edged, with extensive cockleburs growing in dried mudflat areas, surrounded by desert scrub dominated by Creosote/bursage.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Yellow Warbler and Orange-crowned Warbler: : eliminated by presence of face pattern, side streaks, and behavior. No white on tail. Foraging behavior,tail-pumping, yellow underside and streaking reminiscent of Palm Warbler, however less prominant supercilium and lighter (greener) back.
Previous experience with this & similar species: Observed breeding Prairie Warblers while living in New Hampshire from 1988-90, and wintering birds on trips to Florida in 98, 99, & 2000. Compared field notes to other sources afterwards to confirm species, age and sex.
References consulted: Viewed National Geographic Guide on 9/29 during unsuccessful search for this bird.
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North, Hurricane UT, 84737
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Observed independently on 9/28 by Dana Green (~10:30) and Merrill Webb (~16:45).
Date prepared: 10/14/01
Additional material: Drawing, Field notes
Additional Comments: Above description taken from field notes and sketch completed while observing the warbler. Will email scan of field notes separately.

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