Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2009-30

Common name:

Blackpoll Warbler

Scientific name: Dendrioca striata
Date: October 1, 2009
Time: 1830
Length of time observed: 2-3 minutes
Number: 1
Age:  ?
Sex: male
Location: along the Virgin River below Washington Bridge
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 840 m
Distance to bird: 5 m
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: windy and clear
Light Conditions: bright afternoon light
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Quinn and I were walking down the river to the cottonwood grove along river left below the Washington Bridge when I heard a unique warbler call note; a sharp chip, similar but a bit sharper than a Yellow Warbler. I eventually located a fall Blackpoll Warbler foraging in the cottonwoods, tamarisks, olives, and mulberrys. The bird showed some black feathers in the crown and malar area indicating a male, and possibly an adult male.

Moderate to large warbler with relatively long wings and short tail. Yellow head, throat, upper breast, wings, and back and white belly and undertail coverts. Relatively short bill with black culmen and yellowish at the base of lower mandible. Head pattern: partial eye-ring broken at front and rear of dark eye by darker loral line extending through eye with pale yellow supercilium and cheeks, darker yellow/olive crown, black feathering present on crown and in malar area. Back yellow/olive with dark black streaking. Wings dark, with two distinct white bars, yellow edging on secondaries and primaries, and white edging on tertials and white primary tips. Dark tail, relatively short, retrices with pale edging and white spots on upper side of outer retrices. Underside of tail mostly white with black terminal spots. Feet and legs pale yellow.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: sharp chip note, similar but sharper than Yellow Warbler
Behavior: foraging (gleening)
Habitat: riparian
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Most similar to fall Pine and Bay-breasted Warblers:

distinguished from fall Pine by presence of back-streaking, white primary tips, tail pattern, and yellow legs and feet.

distinguished from fall Bay-breasted by presence of yellow legs and feet, more prominent back streaking, and black feathering on crown and malars.
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: 12-18-09
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: description copied from field notes written immediately following sighting