Notes on Review Species

  1. "Falconers often release their birds when finished with them. However, this is seldom done with Gyrfalcons because they are very expensive (about $5000), and therefore held by far fewer falconers, who are pretty careful about keeping track of them." ~ Steve Summers

Harris's Hawk

(Note: these hawks are often used by falconers, so sightings are more apt to be of escapees. <UB1985>)
     "Harris' Hawks are one of the most popular birds for falconers, because they are easily trained, and hunt aggressively. Utah has a relatively large number of falconers - a situation which makes documenting a valid sighting for Harris' Hawk in Utah very difficult. While many birders will look for jesses or other "hardware" on birds to determine whether or not they are wild, many falconers fly their birds with minimal or no hardware. There is also the problem of birds which have been released. Such birds would have no hardware at all." Steve Summers.

Mountain Plover

  1. (Regularly found in the Uinta Basin. They breed in the area in and around 8-Mile Flat S/SE of Myton in early summer (before July) along road to Pariette marshes)
Eurasian Collared-Dove
  1. This is a naturally expanding species from an introduced population in the Bahamas, which was discovered to be expanding onto the N. American continent in the late 80's-early 90's. It has reached the west in the last couple of years. Since the birds occurring now in the west are from established breeding populations to the east, it is as countable. For more info, see  - Steve Summers ~ Feb 2003
Common Ground-Dove
  1. There are two early undocumented sightings, one on 4 Sep 1963 in Cedar City by Stewart Murie and another  along the Paria River in Kane Co.- no details.

Yellow-billed Cuckoo

  1. Begins arriving in May and majority leave in first weeks of September. ~ Robert Benton
  2. Two recent breeding areas known: near Ouray, Uintah Co. and Virgin River Valley.
  3. Eggs have been collected in Weber, Salt Lake, Utah, and Washington Counties.
  4. Suitable nesting habitat: 100 m wide (10 hectares in total extent), within 100 m of standing or slow-energy water, dense understory vegetation (such as salix spp.) under a canopy of large cottonwoods. This habitat is being lost to agriculture and invasion of Tamarisk. (Gaines, 1974). {Utah Birds V3#1}.
Boreal Owl
  1. Carolee Parker of Forest Service stated on 7 Oct 1999 that:  Boreal owls appear to be more tied to prey base rather than habitat. Prey base needs to be studied.  Females are thought to feed on flying squirrels in winter, so descend in altitude. Sometimes they appear to withdraw when tapes are played, but this fading may actually be attempt to lure other owl to nest area. In Europe, they are mostly nesting in nest boxes, and earlier in the year. Snowmobiles may have silenced the earlier Logan Cyn birds after they were reported. Perhaps some individuals are sensitive to human disturbance.
  2. Marcus Mika (a graduate student at BYU in 2001), reports that the adolescents often call in late August - September in Utah, and can be called in during that time with a tape. He says that, in America, the young tend to stay within about 15 km of nest site during first summer after fledging (in Finland stay within ~500 km!).
Yellow-bellied Sapsucker:
  1. (Recently added to the Utah Checklist)  "The records of Yellow-bellied Sapsucker listed by Hayward, Henshaw, Hayden and others actually refer to the Red-naped Sapsucker.  Yellow-bellied Sapsucker was split by the AOU into 3 species in 1985: Yellow-bellied (the eastern species), Red-naped (the Utah species), and Red-breasted (the Pacific coast species).  So all references prior to 1985 will list only Yellow-bellied Sapsucker."  (quote from Steve Hedges of the Records Committee).
  2.  ID tips:  (by Mark Stackhouse)
    Differentiating Yellow-bellied sapsucker from Red-naped sapsucker: There is no 100% safe way to tell the adults of these two species apart. The only positive way to identify a Yellow-bellied is by seeing a juvenile-plumaged bird in the fall and winter. The Red-naped molts from its juvenile plumage to its first-winter (essentially adult) plumage in late summer, with the molt normally being complete by September (the black chest sometimes takes longer to appear). The Yellow-bellied doesn't complete its molt from juvenile plumage until late winter, usually February or March. Therefore, any juvenile-plumaged sapsucker which is seen after September is almost certainly a Yellow-bellied. Yellow-bellied sapsuckers are highly migratory, and nest north of Utah, so it's likely that a number of them regularly pass through our state.
         To help eliminate the possibility of a late-molting Red-naped, there are several differences between the two species on how the molt progresses. The juveniles of both species show wing and tail markings similar to the adults. The back, head and breast are generally mottled in gray-brown. The facial stripes of the adult plumage are usually visible, though less distinctly than on the adult. On the Yellow-bellied, the underparts are usually more heavily mottled with a more distinct scalloped pattern than on Red-naped. The real place to look is on the crown. On both species, the red on the throat starts to appear fairly early (the bird at Lucin [1999] had a few red feathers just starting to emerge on the throat). However, the red on the crown takes much longer to appear (there was none on the Lucin bird), and in the Red-naped, the red starts to appear on the front of the crown, and progresses towards the rear. On the Yellow-bellied, red feathers first appear as scattered spots throughout the entire crown. This difference is fairly obvious, if you know to look for it.

Pacific-slope Flycatcher

  1. During the 25 May 2002 sighting at Lytle Ranch, Steve & Priscilla Summers, Rick Fridell, Kristen Comella  saw one candidate among three ‘Western’ Flycatchers. Steve Summers wrote, “one of which called at least 5 times. Each time the call was clearly the single upward slurred note of a Pacific-slope f.c. If Pacific-slope flycatchers. can be conclusively identified by the call note then this was one. It is generally considered in the lowland desert areas of Arizona, California and Nevada that all migrant ‘Western’ Flycatchers. are most probably Pacific-slope so it is not surprising that the same would hold true for at least the SW Utah deserts. All this of course is pertinent if you believe that there are two species of Western Flyc. that can be conclusively identified by call.”  Mark Stackhouse says call is inconclusive. (from David Wheeler's records)

Le Conte's Thrasher

  1. (As of 1993)  “Verified records of LeConte’s thrasher are known only from a limited area on the Beaver Dam Slope having Joshua trees and sparsely scattered vegetation. There are not even any verified records of the species from Beaver Dam Wash.” {U.B. V9#3, Sep ‘93}. 
         Since then there has been one verified record and several up un-reviewed sightings in other parts of Washington County.

Roseate Spoonbill - sightings in the 1960's:

  1. Spence, La Rue, and Grahame 2011 "Birds of Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, Utah and Arizona." Monographs of the Western North American Naturalist 5:20-70.
    (The author considers these sightings credible but not confirmed. The original source is unpublished Glen Canyon papers regarding the construction of the dam).
    "ROSEATE SPOONBILL (Platalea ajaja).—A rare local transient. A series of 4 reports by “Hoffman” in the GLCA files (4 on 3 March 1964, 8 on 23 March 1962, 7 on 13 April 1963 and 4 on 27 August 1962, all apparently from the Wahweap area during the construction of Glen Canyon Dam) seems unlikely since no records of this primarily coastal species are known from the region today. However, it is not a species likely to be misidentified. Furthermore, the most likely species to be confused for a spoonbill by a careless observer would be the Snowy Egret, which does not arrive as a migrant in this region until mid-April. This is notably later than 2 of the above records. We are therefore inclined to ac cept these reports as valid. Interestingly the occurrence of this species in both Utah and Colorado are substantiated by specimens taken in 1919 and 1913, respectively (Behle et al. 1985). The frequency of reports from Arizona and California has apparently declined since the mid-1900s (Monson and Phillips 1981, Corman and Wise-Gervais 2005) to the point where the species is now rarely reported. It therefore appears that this species may have been a sparse transient to the Glen Canyon region that perhaps reached this area by following the Colorado River upstream from the delta and adjoining coastal areas of the Sea of Cortez. The drying up of the Colorado River delta caused by upstream damming and diversion may explain the decline of spoonbill records throughout the southwestern United States. Until these records can be confirmed, the species is not included in the tabulations for the park."