Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 15-2001

Common name:

Prairie Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica discolor
Date: Sept. 28, 2001
Time: 4:30 - 4:45 P.M.
Length of time observed: Two times; about 10 - 15 seconds each
Number: 1
Age: Juv / Imm, winter plumage
Sex: Female or immature
Location: Harrisburg resort in Washington Co., Ut. on Quail Creek, dry cove where the resort owners tether their boats.
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Distance to bird: Approx. 7-10 yards
Optical equipment: 8 x 40 Zeiss Binocs
Weather: Clear, has been hot & dry for almost all of Sept.
Light Conditions: Good
Detailed description of bird: Size: Warbler-sized, approximately 5 inches long.  Slightly larger than Lucy's Warbler & about same size as yellow warbler, both of which were feeding in the same trees & bushes.

  a. breast - bright yellow from throat to vent
  b. flanks - distinct black streaks on side, but not on belly
  c. head, neck & back - gray
  d. wings - dark gray, no distinct wing bars observed
  e. eye - dark eye with light-colored, incomplete eye-ring
  f. legs - dark
  g. tail - grayish - did not see white in tail because bird was foraging - not flying.
  h. bill - dark

This particular individual most closely resembles the picture of the immature Prairie Warbler on page 367 of the NGS Field Guide to The Birds of North America, 2nd E. except the streaking on the flanks was more black & distinct.

Field guides describe, tail-bobbing, & white in tail.  Didn't observe these features on this bird.  

Variations form expected field marks. None

Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: The bird I observed was actively foraging in small tree & thick bushes. 
Other birds: Orange-crowned, yellow, yellow-rumped, Lucy's & chestnut-sided Warblers plus white-crowned Sparrows (immature).
Habitat: Riparian - desert scrub. 
willow, cottonwood, rabbit brush
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
     Palm Warbler - Fall birds lack yellow breast, also have an eyebrow.  Usually wag or bob tail.
     Graces' Warbler - Yellow throat, white belly, darker on back; immature lacks light-colored area around eye.
     Nashville warbler - Yellow underneath not as bright a yellow plus it lacks black streaking on flanks.  Has a small distinct white eye ring which prairie lacks.
     Magnolia Warbler - Immature has distinct wingbars, olive-colored back, pale yellow under parts (or even grayish) & indistinct black streaking on flanks.
Previous experience with this & similar species: First time with this particular species; many observations of similar warbler species described above except chestnut-sided & magnolia.
References consulted: NGS field guide, 2nd Ed.  [and several others of the main field guides - verbally reported]
Description from: Notes made later from memory
Observer: Merrill Webb
Observer's address: 1063 East 400 North, Orem, UT  84097  Phone: (801) 224-6113
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared: Oct. 1, 2001
Additional material:  

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