Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2019-19

Common name:

Least Tern

Scientific name: Sternula antillarum
Date: 5/27/19
Time: around 8:00 am
Length of time observed: 30 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Inland Sea Shorebird Reserve
County: Salt Lake
Distance to bird: 100 ft
Optical equipment: 10x50 binoculars
Weather: Cloudy, some drizzle, slight wind
Light Conditions: Good, cloudy sky made for nice even lighting
Description:        Size of bird: Dove-sized
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Pointed wings, beak, and tail
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: White overall with black wing bar
(Description:)            Bill Type: Long and pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
All white bird with long streamer tail and long pointed wings. Bill was pointed and light yellow in color. Flight was butterfly-like with deliberate wing beats. Most distinct feature that stood out despite brief sighting was the thin black bar going along the outer edge of the primaries.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Flew much like all terns. I saw it as we were leaving one section of the reserve.
Habitat: Marshy wetland
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
The black wing bar across the outer edge of the wing was the key diagnostic to set it apart from Common or Forster's Tern and led to a quick ID. The yellowish beak was another key feature. Second-guessed myself based on rarity, but the field marks were distinct.
References consulted: Field guides
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Ian Batterman
Observer's address: 8538 S. Harvard Park Dr
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 6/24/19
Additional material:  
Additional comments: