Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2009-06

Common name:

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica caerulescens
Date: 10/12, 10/13, 10/15, 10/17, and 10/20/08
Time: various
Length of time observed: various, several hours
Number: 1
Age: ?? , likely first-fall
Sex: female
Location: Red Hills Golf Course, St. George
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 850 m
Distance to bird: > 10 m
Optical equipment: Leica binoculars, 300 mm Nikkor lens
Weather: various, mostly clear and calm
Light Conditions: various, overcast and bright sunny conditions
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Black-throated Blue Warbler (Dendroica caerulescens)
Red Hills Golf Course, St. George, Washington Co., UT
October 12, 2008, remained through October 20.

As the sun was coming up, I observed a female Black-throated Blue Warbler foraging in a tamarisk along the cart path near the creek crossing above the pond. It was with a flock of Yellow-rumped Warblers and a few Orange-crowned Warblers. I observed it for about 30 minutes, however, I was unable to relocate it two hours later when I returned with my camera. I eventually refound it the following day (10/13) and also 10/15, 10/17, and 10/20. It remained, primarily, in the area between the cart path crossing and the pond, feeding on tangle vine berries. I eventually obtained many photos by waiting near one of the several berry patches it used for food. It frequently gave a sharp chip note, very similar to a Dark-eyed Junco.

Larger and plumper than Orange-crowned Warbler. Olive above and buffy yellow below; with a relatively large dark bill, dark eye; long pale supercilium thinning behind eye; dark eyeline extending through eye, darkest in loral area; pale arc below eye. Dark auricular patch highlighted by pale throat below and supercilium above. Back olive green, brightest at center of back; undersides buffy yellow, buffy throat, brightest yellow at breast; relatively short dark tail, long buffy undertail coverts; olive wings with dark secondary bar, and small but distinct white patch at base of primaries; pale fleshy pink legs and feet.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: It frequently gave a sharp chip note, very similar to a Dark-eyed Junco.
Habitat: dense riparian vegetation on golf course
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Very distinctive warbler.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 03-26-09
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: Information above copied from field notes written following the sighting.