Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2019-16

Common name:

Swallow-tailed Kite

Scientific name: Elanoides forficatus
Date: 06/14/2019
Time: morning, before 11 a.m.
Length of time observed: 10 seconds
Number: 1
Age: unknown
Sex: unknown
Location: I-15, south of Spanish Fork, travelling to Tropic
County: unkown
Latilong: unknown
Elevation: unknown
Distance to bird: approximately 75 feet
Optical equipment: eyes only
Weather: clear sky, sunny, greater than 65 degree fahrenheit
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Kite shaped
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: distinctive black and white contrasting along wings.
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Observed bird flying overhead, above road at an altitude of 50-75 feet estimated. Contrasting black and white underside of wings pronounced with black tail. Later I tried to match the field marks with other raptors, in particular, Buteos, with atypical color morphs but none were a better match than the kite field marks.
Song or call & method of delivery: no vocalization heard
Behavior: soaring
Habitat: sage
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Did most of my birding in Florida when I lived there for 25 years. Always looked forward to the spring when swallow-tailed would return to breed, sometimes in groups with dozens of individuals. I am still learning western raptors and the various color morphs. I used Sibley to compare the black and white wings with other potentially occurring raptors. Although a couple do have similar, none showed that pronounced black and white contrast, not to the same degree.
References consulted: Sibley's
Description from: From memory
Observer: Tom Davidowicz
Observer's address: 10866 S. Langford Lane, 2063, south jordan, UT 84095
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: N/A
Date prepared: 06/17/2019
Additional material:  
Additional comments: