Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-14

Common name:

Great Gray Owl

Scientific name: [Strix nebulosa]
Date: January 29, 2017
Time: 4:00 PM
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Location: 1750 W. 1500 N. Wasatch County, Utah 84032
County: Wasatch
Elevation: 5800
Distance to bird: 30 yards
Optical equipment: Nikon Camera 200 MM lens
Weather: Fair
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: 18 - 24 inches tall -
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  Upright oval
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: dark brown - white / black bowtie under chin
(Description:)            Bill Type: hooked beak
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Large rounded head, dish shaped face. Black and white "bowtie" under chin.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Was hunting along a brushy fence line. Would sit in top of brush or on fence post and turn it's head to listen for prey. After a few minutes, it would move further down by 20 - 30 yards and repeat that behavior. Did not observe any catches.
Habitat: Open snowy fields with occasional river willows and brush.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Thought at first it could be a barred owl, however the bowtie markings and eye color were distinguishing to eliminate that
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Cary Hobbs
Observer's address: 131 Ryans Lane, Midway, Utah 84049
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Many birders identified it from photos I posted on the Utah Bird Hotline. About 50 people came to this location the day after I posted the photos but did not locate the bird.
Date prepared: Feb 2, 2017
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: