Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-39(R83)
1983 sighting resubmitted in October 2005
Information for this record is taken from a UFO sight record received 21 Jun 1983.

Common name:

Least Bittern

Scientific name: Ixobrychus exilis
Date: 14 May 1983
Time: 10:20 AM
Length of time observed: 2 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unk.
Location: Stewart Lake Waterfowl Refuge, Jensen
County: Uintah
Distance to bird: 45 feet
Optical equipment: no chance to use either [optical or photo]
Weather: Windy with light showers.  [Prior weather:]  cold & unsettled - 3 days 
Light Conditions: Overcast, flat light.
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Bird somewhat larger than Virginia Rail.  In the two seconds I observed this bird, two filed marks (aside from the long legs & bittern bill) stood out.  1 - Buffy fore wing patch and  2 - dark back with cream colored throat, breast & stomach.
   The bird flew across a 15 foot opening in the reeds, landed on a cattail and lurched into the reeds.  The observation was brief but diagnostic.

[Marks which were not seen.  Why not?]   I did not have time to really digest the bird and did not especially notice the black crown patch.

[Variations from expected field marks ]  None - just other surprise at seeing the bird at all.  I was sitting on the hood if my car sorting out swallows.

Song or call & method of delivery: silent
Behavior: This bird flew across a small channel in the marsh, perched briefly and disappeared into the reeds.
Habitat: Large Marsh with accompanying vegetation
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The size & markings negate any other heron or Am. Bittern.  The long bill eliminates Sora and the size difference & dark back / light front color pattern eliminates Virginia Rail.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen all the bitterns & herons.  I have seen clapper, Virginia & Soras.  This is my first Least Bittern
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made at time of sighting
Observer: Mark T. Bromley
Observer's address: 1480 N. Jordan Ave., Provo, UT  84504    Phone: 801-375-156?
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 18 May 1983
Additional material:  
Additional comments: