Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2020-14

Common name:

Northern Parula

Scientific name: Setophaga americana
Date: 05/06/2020
Time: 1500
Length of time observed: 20 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: Farnham Road, Price River Valley, SE of Price, Utah
County: Carbon
Latilong: 39.515253, -110.682710
Elevation: ~5,500 feet
Distance to bird: as close as a few meters horizontally, but bird was high in a cottonwood
Optical equipment: Nikon Monarch 7 10x42
Weather: mostly sunny, warm
Light Conditions: bright sun, making the bird backlit at times but illuminated at others depending on angle
Description:        Size of bird: small, clearly warbler sized. seemed smaller than nearby Yellow-rumped Warblers
(Description:)       Basic Shape: thin and delicate
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: dark on top, yellow on the throat and chest, white below
(Description:)            Bill Type: saw a thin, sharply pointed bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
To be honest, I did not see this bird well. I pulled up to a large cottonwood along Farnham Rd and jumped out to peruse the bird activity. Shortly after getting out of the truck, I heard a buzzy up and down song that reminded me in tone and quality of the Black-throated Gray Warblers I had been hearing in the juniper the last couple of days. I could tell it was not a BTYW, but I couldn't pinpoint the song. Now I can't remember if I saw the bird next or heard the typical song next, but both happened around the same time, solidifying that I was hearing an alternate song of a Northern Parula. Again around the same time as each other, I heard the typical rising trill/zipper song of a Northern Parula, and I saw a bird with two prominent white wingbars and extensive yellow across the throat and upper chest. This bird stayed high in the cottonwood and never seemed to want to come down for a better view of me, so I concentrated not on getting photos but of getting sound recordings. I knew the song was diagnostic, so that was my main goal. I was able to get other looks of the bird showing some additional characters like a generally dark back and base color to the wings and a white belly and undertail.
Song or call & method of delivery: Two types of song were delivered, first a buzzy, wheezy warble and second a more typical rising zipper song. (audio1, audio2)
Behavior: Feeding continuously in the upper reaches of a large cottonwood and alternating between two song types.
Habitat: Riparian corridor along the Price River. This bird stayed within two large cottonwoods during the entire observation
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The song is diagnostic. No other species considered.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen dozens of individuals of this species in at least 9 different states.
References consulted: iBird Pro, specifically to consult song variations
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Justin Streit
Observer's address: 545 Beresford Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89123
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: N/A
Date prepared: 5/8/20
Additional material: Tape,  audio1, audio2
Additional comments: