Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-37

Common name:

Palm Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica palmarum
Date: October 13, 2007
Time: 4 PM MDT
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: prob hatching year
Sex: ?
Location: Robber's Roost Canyon (4 km up from the confluence with the Dirty Devil R)
County: Wayne
Latilong: 17
Elevation: 1340 m
Distance to bird: 10 m
Optical equipment: 7 x 35 binoculars
Weather: partly cloudy
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird: similar to yellow-rumped warbler
(Description:)       Basic Shape: warbler shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: dull brown
(Description:)            Bill Type: warbler bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Field marks included a flash of white in the tips of the outer tail feathers in flight, a distinct supercilium, a dull brown front, back, and head (suggesting a Western bird), and yellow undertail coverts.
Song or call & method of delivery: Its call was a "plick", softer than the yellow-rumped warblers with which it was associating.
Behavior: The bird flushed from the ground and perched in a low tree, pumping its tail nonstop in classic palm-warbler fashion.
Habitat: Weedy area with low trees and shrubs.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Orange-crowned warbler (first winter): has yellow undertail coverts and slightly pale supercilium, but no white in tail and does not pump tail constantly. Call note is sharper.
Virginia's and Nashville warblers: have yellow undertail coverts but slight eye ring instead of pale supercilium and no white in tail.

Yellow warbler: undertail coverts yellow, but clean head with no pale supercilium.
Yellow-rumped warbler: undertail coverts not yellow, has yellow rump, no pale supercilium, call note is more emphatic.

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I am quite familiar with palm warblers from having lived in the eastern US including Florida, where they are common winter birds. I have birded in Utah for 30 years.
References consulted: Sibley, D. A., "Guide to Birds"
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Carleton DeTar
Observer's address: 953 Little Valley Rd, Salt Lake City, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None
Date prepared: October 28, 2007
Additional material:  
Additional Comments: