Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2002-

Common name:

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica pensylvanica
Date: August 26, 2001
Time: 11:45am
Length of time observed: 5 to 7 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Immature
Location: River Lane in Lake Shore (west of Springville)
County: Utah
Distance to bird: 10 to 20 feet
Optical equipment:  
Weather: Clear, sunny, hot
Light Conditions: Bright sun. (The bird was seen in the shade of the tree canopy.)
Detailed description of bird: Distinct white eye-ring
Bright yellow-green on crown
Light gray face
Greenish-yellow back with dark gray streaks from nape to tail
Whitish-yellow wing bars
Dark gray wings and tail
Some yellow-green in wing feathers
Plain grayish-white underparts from throat to tail
Dark colored warbler bill
Song or call & method of delivery: Not heard
Behavior: Warbler-like movement in branches of trees
Gleening small bugs from the branches
Flitting from branch to branch
Habitat: Riparian strip of deciduous trees
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
We could not think of any similar species to compare to this sighting.

When we first sighted the bird, we knew that it was not a familiar "more common" Utah species, so we immediately consulted our field guides. This bird looked exactly like the Chestnut-sided Warbler drawings in The Sibley Guide to Birds, and National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America. We could not find another warbler species which has the combination of features described above (white eye-ring, yellow-green crown, greenish-yellow back with dark gray streaking, light gray face and grayish-white underparts).

After we consulted the field guides, we relocated the bird and noted each of the features described by Sibley.

Upon returning home, we also compared the bird we saw to the photograph in The Audobon Society Master Guide to Birding, Volume 3, page 131. In our opinion, the bird we saw looked exactly like this photograph.
Previous experience with this & similar species: We have seen numerous Chestnut-sided Warblers at Point Pelee in Ontario, and in Texas. However, all of these sightings were in the spring, and were, therefore, breeding plumage adults.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds
National Geographic Field Guide to Birds of North America
The Audobon Society Master Guide to Birding
Description from: Memory
Observer: Joel and Kathy Beyer
Observer's address: 1719 Hillcrest Avenue, Salt Lake City, UT  84106
Observer's e-mail address: 
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Not known first hand. However, we heard that Terry Sadler and Dennis Shirley both saw this bird.
Date prepared: September 1, 2001
Additional material: Original Record