Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2023-65a

Common name:

Purple Finch

Scientific name: Haemorphous purpureus
Date: September 15, 2023
Time: 10:27
Length of time observed: twenty-five minutes
Number: 1
Age: unkown
Sex: female
Location: Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge
County: Juab
Latilong: 39.839002 -113.398061
Elevation: 4,300 feet
Distance to bird: twenty feet
Optical equipment: Vortex Viper 10 x 42 Leica Ultravid 10 x 42
Weather: sunny, slight breeze
Light Conditions: clear- the bird was backlit at times
Description:        Size of bird: roughly six inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: finch shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: drab brown
(Description:)            Bill Type: conical
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Female finch similar to House Finch at first glance, however had a shorter tail then house finch.
Bold facial pattern with brown streaking on both flanks and chest.
Conical bill.
Song or call & method of delivery: Called both while perched and in flight. (Audio1, Audio2)
Behavior: Perched in trees, flew from tree to tree.
Habitat: Scattered trees within housing unit. Beyond the housing unit, habitat consisted of spring-fed wetlands and salt desert shrublands.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
House Finch is the most likely species in this area and is similar to both Purple and Cassin's Finch. This bird however had much stronger facial pattern than the House Finch. In the process of determining Purple vs. Cassin's I was able to record calls.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Have seen and heard House Finch many times. Knew the calls were distinct from House Finch. Called Renee to see the bird and she was able to determine the bird was either a Cassin's or a Purple Finch based on facial markings. The bird was backlit when she saw it, but I was able to record calls a number of times before the bird flew from the area.
References consulted: Kaufman Field Guide to Birds of North America
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Erin Hettinger
Observer's address: 301 E Garvin Heights Rd, Winona MN 55987
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Renee Tressler
Date prepared: October 15, 2023
Additional material: Tape Audio1, Audio2  [see eBird Checklist:]
Additional comments: