Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2003-12

Common name:

Eastern Phoebe

Scientific name: Sayornis phoebe
Date: 5/7/03
Time: 4:00 p.m.
Length of time observed: 8 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: sexes similar
Location: Jordan River Parkway at 840 South (Genese Ave.)
County: Salt Lake
Latilong: ?
Elevation: ?
Distance to bird: 30 fee
Optical equipment: Swarovski Binoculars EL 10 x 42, Kowa TSN-822M Spotting Scope with 32 x.
Weather: Cloudy
Light Conditions: good
Detailed description of bird: The bird was a flycatcher with a dark head and white throat. These two features contrasted well and were obvious. The bird had some grayish feathering on the middle of its breast, but on its belly, the feathering was white. The back and neck were uniform gray. The bill was completely black and the bird had no eyering. The bird also lacked wingbars.
Song or call & method of delivery: silent
Behavior: The bird was flycatching from different perches and was repeatedly dipping its tail - a phoebe characteristic.
Habitat: Riparian: Russian Olive, Willows, Cottonwoods next to the Jordan River
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Empidonax Flycatchers were eliminated because this bird had no wingbars or eyering.Gray Flycatcher also dips its tail, but it has wingbars and an eyering as well as light colored head and the base of its bill is orangish
- All physical characteristics this bird was lacking.

Western Wood-Pewee was eliminated because this bird had the "dipping tail" behavior which the Pewee doesn't. This bird had a white throat contrasted with a very dark head while a pewee's throat and head are the
same. Also, a pewee has some visible wingbars and this bird didn't.
Previous experience with this & similar species: I've seen them in Texas, Missouri, New York, and New Jersey.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds
National Geographic Field guide to the Birds of North America
Description from: From memory
Observer: Ed Conrad
Observer's address: 5871 South Holstein Way Murray, UT 84107
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared: 5/7/03  (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: