Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2022-59a

Common name:

Yellow-billed Loon

Scientific name: Gavia adamsii
Date: 10/18/2022
Time: 9:00 am
Length of time observed: 30 min
Number: 1
Age: juvenile
Sex: unknown
Location: Rockport Reservoir
County: Summit
Latilong: unknown
Elevation: 6000 ft.
Distance to bird: about 100 meters
Optical equipment: Swarovski 95mm scope, Sony RX-10 camera
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: excellent
Description:        Size of bird: appeared to be a bit larger than Common Loon
(Description:)       Basic Shape: shaped like common loon with long flat head
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: light brown head, white belly, dark brown back with considerable lateral striping
(Description:)            Bill Type: long, thin, pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
shaped like common loon with long flat head and long totally light-colored bill
- light brown head and white eye ring, mostly white front of neck with medium brown band, white belly, dark brown back with considerable lateral striping
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: unknown
Behavior:  lots of diving
Habitat: reservoir that attracts migrating loons in fall and spring
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
similar to Common Loon with some differences:

- appeared to be larger than nearby commons (never saw the two right next to each other, so this is an estimate)

- length of bill from back to tip was noticeably longer than distance from back of bill to back of head; that contrasts to common loon where those are essentially the same

- overall brown color, contrasting to more grey color of commons

- totally light-colored bill, unlike common loon that has dark upper bill

- considerable striping across back, unlike juvenile common which have mostly dark backs
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
have only seen a few in the past
References consulted: Sibley,
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Dave Hanscom
Observer's address: 1451 Moray Court, Park City, UT 84060
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: David Wheeler, Laurie Taylor
Date prepared: 10/20/2022
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: I'm submitting this report at the request of the county eBird monitor, Matt Pendleton