Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-55

Common name:

Eastern Phoebe

Scientific name: Sayornis phoebe
Date: September 24, 2017
Time: 9:00
Length of time observed: thirty minutes
Number: 1
Location: Scott M. Matheson Preserve
County: Grand
Elevation: 4,000
Distance to bird: ten feet
Optical equipment: Leica binoculars
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: adequate
Description:        Size of bird: flycatcher
(Description:)       Basic Shape: it reminded me of a Say's phoebe
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: darker on top, lighter below
(Description:)            Bill Type: somewhat slender and black in color
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I observed it for a long time as it flitted constantly from the ground to fenceposts. It had a darker bill, head and tail than the rest of its plumage with two faint wing bars with a grayish tinge along the sides of the breast. Its behavior of steadily wagging its tail first down then up, made me decide it must be an eastern phoebe.
Song or call & method of delivery: not vocal
Behavior: constantly wagging its tail more so than other flycatchers that I've observed. Like a Say's phoebe it preferred low perches.
Habitat: small, deserted field
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
I eliminated all other flycatchers because none of them have the tail wagging behavior that this bird did.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted: Sibley's field guide and Cornell's website
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Marcy Hafner
Observer's address: P.O Box 13, Moab, UT 84532
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: October 4, 2017
Additional material:  
Additional comments: