Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-36

Common name:

Cape May Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica tigrina
Date: 9-16-07
Time: 10:00 AM
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: HY
Sex: Female
Location: Red Hills G C St. George
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Within 10 feet
Optical equipment: 10x42 B & L Elites
Weather: Clear skies and calm winds
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Warbler shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Gray
(Description:)            Bill Type: Thin pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The crown, neck and auricular area of the bird were gray. It had faint pale eye arcs a dark eyeline and a dark border to the front of the auricular area. The throat was whitish. The back of the bird was gray and the rump was a bright lime green color.  The underparts were pale with heavy blurry streaking on the breast and sides and a faint yellow wash in the center of the breast. The wings were darker then the back with pale tips to the coverts (forming 2 dull wingbars )and tertial edges. The flight feathers were edged greenish that could be seen with the sunlight at the right angle. The tail was olive gray above and white below with dark edges and dark on the tip. The tail was somewhat short looking.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: The bird gave a high seet call. Very different from any of the similar looking Warblers.
Behavior: Gleaning insects from the Willow trees like a typical warbler.
Habitat: Urban golf course with Willows and Cottonwood trees along a small riparian area.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
A dull plumaged Yellow-rump is the most similar to me ( which is what I thought it was at first glance )but the rump color and the green in the flight feathers plus the call made me know It wasn't a Y R Warbler. The plumage features of Cape May with good views make it easier to separate from other Warblers like Blackpoll, Pine and Palm.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen similar looking birds in California and the east.
References consulted: Sibley and Peterson Warblers.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Trl. Central,UT. 84722
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Peyton Cook was with me during the sighting and Rick
Fridell came over later and also saw the bird.
Date prepared: 10-27-07
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: