Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah
Rec. # O_2008-02

Common name:

Northern Bobwhite  or Bobwhite Quail

Scientific name: Colinus virginianus
Date: Twice between 10/7 - 10/14 [2008]
Time: Approx. 6:15-6:20 p.m.
Length of time observed: About 2 minutes
Number: 2
Sex: At least 1 was male.  The other one was further away, so I can't be sure.
Location: House/grounds on Mason View Circle, Riverton
County: Salt Lake Co.
Distance to bird: 20-25 feet
Optical equipment:  
Weather: Clear
Light Conditions: Fading sunshine 1 day; dusk the other
Description:        Size of bird: Small chicken size
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Rounded, plump, very short tail
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: brown and black/white flecked
(Description:)            Bill Type: Nothing struck me as unusual here; I would call it standard, but I'm not a birder
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
black and white head
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: First sighting:  they were walking thru dirt/scrub area next to house; second sighting:  1 on roof of house, other clinging to front window sill of house
Habitat: This house has lawn in the front yard, but the back yard where the birds were coming from the first time I saw them is dirt/weeds/scrub--unlandscaped.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Quail.  These birds were plumper, bigger and had shorter tails than quail.  They also did not have the little bobbly thing on the top of their heads.  (Sorry, I don't know what it's called!)
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I used to live in a duplex in Holladay where we frequently had quail that would run thru the yard and perch in groups on our fence.  I saw enough quail then to know that the birds I'm writing about were not quail.  I found some photos online tagged "Bobwhite Quail" that looked exactly like the birds I saw.
References consulted: Online photographs and articles found thru Google searches.
Description from: From memory
Observer: J. DeMille
Observer's address:
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None.
Date prepared: 10/20/08
Additional material:  
Additional comments: I see that there was another sighting of a Bobwhite reported in 2003 that was basically discounted.  The birds I saw were definitely Bobwhites.  I got a very good look at them, the second time with sunshine on the bird and the window sill he was perched on.  Perhaps they were just migrating thru Utah.  I walk my dog past the house where I saw them every evening at about the same time and have only seen them on the 2 occasions I've mentioned.  I moved here several years ago from New York state, so when I realized the birds weren't quail, I knew to look up Bobwhites instead.  Sure enough, the photos I found match the birds I saw.  I'm not what you would consider a birder since I don't travel to places specifically looking for birds, but I do enjoy watching the birds I encounter.  I came across your site in my research into the birds I saw and thought you might be interested to know that these had been sighted in Utah as they do not appear to be native.