Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2018-21

Common name:

Zone-tailed Hawk

Scientific name: Buteo albonotatus
Date: 4/25/2018
Time: 1930
Length of time observed: Approx. 10 minutes total over 4 occurrences
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: UNK
Location: East fork of Taylor Creek in canyon under Buck Pasture Mountain.
County: Washington
Latilong:  (37.4521179,-113.1736914)
Elevation: 6200ft
Distance to bird: 2000 ft
Optical equipment: 12x50 Vortex Diamondback
Weather: Clear and beautiful.
Light Conditions: 30 minutes prior to sunset.
Description:        Size of bird: Similar to a red-tailed hawk or turkey vulture
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Buteo shaped and TUVU behaving.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Feathered head, barred wings and tail with large bands.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Hawk like and yellow.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: No audible sounds detected.
Behavior: Back and forth, lazy dynamic soaring over canyon from tree line to tree line.
Habitat: High altitude ponderosa and mixed conifer stands over red rock canyons and riparian area.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The ZTHA May imitate the turkey vulture to ambush prey. Myself and one of the Zion NP biologists noted the bird while conducting Mexican spotted owl surveys in the canyon. TUVU were seen flying with the ZTHA, and we also noted the barring/banding in the wings and tail as well as the fully feathered head, therefore eleminating the probability of a TUVU.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
This was my first sighting of a ZTHA, but I am also a wildlife biologist who s quite familiar with avian identification.
References consulted: Sibley bird guide, Merlín Bird ID, Zion NP biologists.
Description from: Notes made later
From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Jamison Conner England
Observer's address: 4276 N 2375 W
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Jason Pietrzak
Date prepared: 5/16/2018
Additional material: Photos - Jason Pietrzak has the actual photos.
Additional comments: