Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2020-16

Common name:

Harlequin Duck

Scientific name: Histrionicus histrionicus
Date: 5-08-2020
Time: 6:00pm
Length of time observed: 50 minutes
Number: 2
Age: Adult pair
Sex: Male and Female
Location: Willard Waste Water Plant
County: Box Elder
Latilong: 41.426262, -112.059428
Elevation: 4220ft
Distance to bird: 50m
Optical equipment: Nikon 10x50 Binoculars,Vortex 20-60X spotting scope
Weather: Sunny,clear,70F
Light Conditions: poor, birds backlit
Description:        Size of bird: male, 34 46 cm; female, 33 42 cm(Birds of the World)
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Typical duck
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Mostly dark with white markings
(Description:)            Bill Type: typical duck bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Reported to eBird earlier that day by Hal and Kathleen Robins, I saw the report as I was getting off work and chased. Easily found on north shore of the sewage lagoon. Back-lighting was a challenge, but drake very distinctive: mostly dark blue with red flanks, white crescent marking in face, small cheek spot, white necklace and stripes on back and flanks. Female uniform sooty brown, 3 spots on face, dark bill
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Loafing and sleeping on rocks of shore of sewage lagoon
Habitat: Freshwater sewage pond
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Distinctive and unique Duck, nothing quite similar to the Drake.

Female had 3 face spots, not the 1 of a Bufflehead hen,
Surf and White-winged Scoter hens larger and with 2 larger face spots.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Yes, I've seen hundreds on Puget Sound of Washington State, 4 in Utah on Antelope Island Causeway
References consulted: Memory
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 84102,SLC,UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Hal and Kathleen Robins found and reported the ducks earlier that day. Many others observed them that evening
Date prepared: 5-13-2020
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: eBird checklist: