Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2008-17

Common name:

Painted Bunting

Scientific name: Passerina ciris
Date: 05-21-08
Time: 1830
Length of time observed: 1 minute
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: female (first year?)
Location: Y-drain between marsh / Virgin River and Washington Fields
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~820 m
Distance to bird: 5-10 m
Optical equipment: 8x42 binoculars
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: sunny
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First observed in flight flushed from weeds alongside the y-drain canal, and my first thought after noticing the back coloration was that it was a large warbler. I viewed it through binoculars as it landed and immediately noticed it was female Painted Bunting.
Description: Upperparts from head to tail were a uniform bright green. Wings and tail also lime green. Underparts also uniform slightly varying from pale yellow at upper chest to buffy on the undertail coverts. Bill pale and short and stout, with curved culmen. Eyes and legs black.
Song or call & method of delivery: na
Behavior: foraging on mustards (Descurianna pinnata I believe ?) along an irrigation ditch. when flushed flew back into dense tamarisks.
Habitat: Edge of agricultural fields (alfalfa) and tamarisk/ willow marsh adjacent to the Virgin River. feeding in weedy patches along irrigation ditch running between fields into the marsh.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Plumage unique, other female buntings are brownish, lacking the green coloration. Warblers with different shape (particularly the bill) and behaviour.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 35050 West 290 North
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: 08-25-08
Additional material:  
Additional Comments: notes aboved copied and pasted from field notes