Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2020-61

Common name:

Black Vulture

Scientific name: Coragyps atratus
Date: 10/5/2020
Time: mid afternoon
Length of time observed: 1 hour+
Number: 2
Age: n/a
Sex: n/a
Location: Mouth of Escalante River, Lake Powell.
County: Kane
Latilong: 37.35259 - 110.93919
Elevation: 3600
Distance to bird: Variable. Closest was probably 50-75 yards.
Optical equipment: 10x binoculars
Weather: calm, sunny.
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird: 20+ inches, 4lbs
(Description:)       Basic Shape: raptor like
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: black
(Description:)            Bill Type: hooked
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Large black and gray birds. Gray skin neck and head, short tail.
Song or call & method of delivery: n/a
Behavior: n/a
Habitat: Red rock sandstone canyon.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Cathartes aura (turkey vulture) and Gymnogyps californianus (California condor). Very obvious differences, I knew they weren't turkeys or condors at first sight without binoculars and confirmed 100% with the optics.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've seen countless turkey and black vultures and many condors having traveled extensively in all their ranges for many years.
References consulted: Not needed.
Description from: From memory
Observer: Daniel Gorder
Observer's address:  
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None
Date prepared: 10/26/2020
Additional material:  
Additional comments: I observed these birds for at least an hour as they flew from perch to perch along the shoreline and the cliffs of the canyon while I was fishing the area from a boat. Didn't even worry about getting low quality ID pics, I knew they were out of their range, but figured it wasn't too uncommon although I had never seen them in Utah before.