Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2019-30

Common name:


Scientific name: Catharus fuscescens
Date: 9/11/19 (still continuing as of 9/15)
Time: 7:30pm
Length of time observed: 15 min
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?
Location: My backyard in Holladay
County: Salt Lake
Elevation: 4812'
Distance to bird: 20 feet
Optical equipment: Pentax ED 8x 43 binos, Canon 60D dslr with 100-400 IS lens
Weather: Sunny and warm
Light Conditions: Low bright sun
Description:        Size of bird: Smaller than a robin
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Plump songbird with long legs
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Reddish brown above, whitish below
(Description:)            Bill Type: Medium blunt tipped bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Catharus thrush with reddish brown upperparts and gray flanks fading into a whitish belly. Plain pale brownish face with rear pale partial eye ring. Weak brown spotting on a buffy chest continuing into weak brown malar stripe.

This looked to be a darker western Veery rather than a more reddish eastern one.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None so far.
Behavior: Extremely skulky often hiding in dense shade and rarely coming out into the open. Occasionally flicks its wings but not nearly as much as a Hermit Thrush
Habitat: Medium dense shrubbery.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
All other Catharus thrushes have more extensive black spotting on their chest. Other Catharus thrushes have more brownish backs lacking reddish tones.

Hermit and Swainson's Thrushes both have complete eye rings and a more contrasting facial pattern with Swainson's showing a buffy face and spectacles.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
2nd time seeing a western Veery. I have seen hundreds of eastern Veery while living in NY, both on breeding grounds and on migration.
References consulted: Sibley 2nd edition, National Geographic 7th edition.
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Kenny Frisch
Observer's address: 4609 S Wallace Ln Holladay, UT 84117
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Since the original sighting- Rachel Leblanc, Larene Wyss, Neldon Kunz
Date prepared: 9/15/19
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: The bird reappeared 9/14 after not being seen on the 12th and 13th and was seen in the morning of the 15th.