SIXTH REPORT OF THE UTAH BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE*
ELLA D. SORENSEN, 3868 Marsha Dr., West Valley City, Utah 84120
KEITH L. DIXON, Dept. of Biology, Utah State Univ., Logan, Utah 84322
STEVEN P. HEDGES, Bureau of Land Management, Cedar City, Utah 84720
CLAYTON M. WHITE, Dept. of Zoology, Brigham Young Univ., Provo, Utah 84602
This is the sixth report of the Utah Bird Records
Committee and contains 26 accepted records of 22 species and 2 unaccepted
records of 2 species. Evaluated records are listed by common and scientific name
following nomenclature of the American Ornithologists' Union 1983 Check-list and
35th (1985) and 36th (1987) supplements. Information listed for each accepted
record includes, in order: number of birds recorded including age and sex if
available, Committee file number (in parentheses), dates of known occurrence,
locality, initials of all known observers with the finder listed first (in
parentheses), initials of observers submitting written documentation (doc: ) or
photograph (photo: ), and comments, if any. Information for unaccepted records
is similar but lacks initials of observers.
The Records Committee would like to thank those individuals
who submitted records to the Committee.
PACIFIC LOON (Gavia pacifica). One (14-1986); 13-14 Dec1986; Echo
Res., Summit Co.; (CKe,BD); doc: CKe.
The Arctic form of current field guides now is considered to
consist of two species (see Auk 102:680, 1985). The population that
breeds mostly in North America is now called the Pacific Loon, while the
Eurasian population continues to be called Arctic Loon. Record 14-1986
represents the latest seasonal occurrence for Utah; most records are for
November. The bird was reported as an adult in winter plumage, and the
description of the back is suggestive of that plumage. The back was described as
"a chocolate or dark grey-brown. Spotting, if present, not obvious or
clear. Adult Pacific Loons have a rather uniformly-colored back, while immatures
have pale edges to the back feathers, giving the back a scaled look. This
difference would still be apparent in mid-December at the time of the sighting,
but later the edges may be worn. In January, immature Pacific Loons begin to
molt from juvenal to first-winter plumage in which the back is quite uniform as
in adults. A dark stripe was observed up the side of the neck. Usually, this is
more pronounced in juvenal plumage.
BROAD-WINGED HAWK (Buteo platypterus). One immature (18-1987); 27 Sep
1987; Promontory Peninsula, Box Elder Co.; (CK); doc: CK.
LESSER GOLDEN-PLOVER (Pluvialis dominica). One or two (7-1987); 6-18
May 1987; Syracuse, Davis Co.; (ES,CK); doc: CK.
Two groups of populations illustrated in the National
Geographic Field Guide may represent distinct species (see AOU Check-list
1983, p. 167). P. d. dominica, the form expected in Utah, winters in
South America. P. d. fulva winters mainly on Pacific islands and southern
Asia, with a few along the southern California coast. This bird was especially
interesting in that it was a rich golden color -- much brighter than the typical
dominica. In winter plumage, and questions arose about reliable
characters to separate these two forms. One possibility suggested by Jon Dunn
was that the primary extension in fulva may be less than in dominica
(i.e., the tail is relatively shorter). This mark has not been completely field
tested and is incorrectly shown in the National Geographic Field Guide. It is
well illustrated in Shorebirds (Hayman et al. 1986). Detailed notes and
photographs should be obtained on all sightings of Golden-Plovers to document
the possible occurrence of fulva in Utah.
HUDSONIAN GODWIT (Limosa haemastica). One juvenile (4-1987); 3 Sep
1987; Blackhawk Duck Club, Salt Lake Co.; (ES); doc:: ES.
This is the fourth accepted Utah record and the first fall
record. The species migrates through the Great Plains in the spring, occurring
rarely in the Western states. In the fall, migration is mainly off the East
coast and this record is one of only a few fall records for the West.
WHITE-WINGED DOVE (Zenaida asiatica). One (10-1987); 5 Sep 1987; Black
Rock, Millard Co.; (MW,RP,JM); doc: MW.
This represents one of the few records away from Washington
RED-BREASTED SAPSUCKER (Sphyrapicus ruber daggetti). One (1-1988); 1-2
Jan 1988; Iverson Ranch, Beaver Dam Wash, Washington Co; (RS,ES,CK); doc: CK;
Verifying this record took about 4 months. Hybridization of
this species with Red-naped Sapsucker must be considered. Photographs were sent
to Ned Johnson, whose assessment was "that our best judgment is that this
individual is a typical Red-breasted Sapsucker of the form daggetti." This
is the second accepted record for Utah.
ACORN WOODPECKER (Melanerpes formicivorus). Two (10-1986); 8 Oct 1986;
Coral Pink Sand Dunes, Kane Co.; (SH,BL); doc: SH.
BLUE JAY (Cyanocitta cristata). One (15-1987); 17 Oct 1987 (first
seen); Peterson, Morgan Co.; (LG,AG,CK); doc: CK,LG.
VARIED THRUSH (Ixoreus naevius). One adult male (24-1987); Jan 1987
(17 days); Salt Lake City, Salt Lake Co.; (NN,WB,ES,RS,BB,CK,BH); doc: NN;
BENDIRE'S THRASHER (Toxostoma bendirei). Three (13-1987);18 June 1987;
2.6 ml. N of Harley Dome, Grand Co.; (NB); doc: NB.
VIREO (Vireo olivaceous). One immature (15-1986); 26 Aug
1986; near Promontory, Box Elder Co.; (JD,ES); doc: JO. One (19-1987); 25 Sep
1987; W of Milford, Beaver Co.; (CK); doc: CK.
CHESTNUT-SIDED WARBLER (Dendroica pensylvanica). One adult male
(3-1987); 26 May 1987; Ogden, Weber Co.; (MK1JR); doc: MK; photo: MK.
See Utah Birds 3(4):72-73 for details of this record.
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER (Dendroica caerulescens). One male
(22-1987); 7 Oct 1987; Iverson Ranch, Beaver Dam Wash, Washington Co.; (ES,RS);
doc: ES; photo: ES.
This is the second documented record for Utah.
BLACKPOLL WARBLER (Dendroica striata). One (23-1987); 8 Oct 1987;
Iverson Ranch, Beaver Dam Wash, Washington Co.; (ES,RS); doc: ES.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER (Mniotilta varia). One (9-1987); 5 Sep 1987;
Black Rock, Millard Co.; (MW,JM); doc: MW.
AMERICAN REDSTART (Setophaga ruticilla). One female (11-1987); 5 Sep
1987; Black Rock, Millard Co.; (MW,RP,JM); doc: MW.
NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH (Seiurus noveboracensis). Three (12-1987); 5 Sep
1987; Black Rock, Antelope Spring, Cudahy Spring, all in Millard Co.; (MW,RP,JM);
LARK BUNTING (Calamospiza melanocorys). One (5-1987); 23 Aug 1987;
Nephi, Juab Co.; (JW,JU); doc: JW.
SWAMP SPARROW (Melospiza georgiana). One (16-1987); 9 Sep 1987; 20 ml.
SE of Park Valley, Box Elder Co.; (CK); doc: CK. One immature (28-1987); 21 Dec
1987; Kanab, Kane Co.: (SH); doc: SH. One adult (27-1987); 21 Dec 1987; Kanab
Cr., Kane Co.; (SW); doc: SH.
WHITE-THROATED SPARROW (Zonotrichia albicollis). One (17-1981); 29-30
Sep 1987; North Salt Lake, Davis Co.; (ES,RS,CK); doc: ES; photo: CK.
This sparrow was not an adult of the white-striped phase. Jon
Dunn and Rick Blom were consulted to help determine whether it was an
adult/immature tan-striped phase or an immature white-striped phase. Both stated
that the field characteristics to determine this have not been adequately worked
MCCOWN'S LONGSPUR (Calcarius mccownii). One adult male (2-1988); 6 Jan
1988; Layton, Davis Co.; (CK); doc: CK.
LESSER GOLDFINCH (Carduelis psaltria). One female (17-1986); 19 Apr
1986; Wellsville, Cache Co.; (MT,SC); doc: MT. One male (25-1987); 17 Nov 1987;
Benson, Cache Co.; (TH,RB); doc: TH.
Record 17-1986 is the first documented record for Cache
County. Reports of this goldfinch have increased in northern Utah in the last
NORTHERN PARULA (Parula americana). One female (21-1987); 24 May 1987;
Navajo Mtn, San Juan Co.
Committee members were concerned about two aspects of this
description. The upperparts were stated as "wholly grey with a distinct
olive patch. This seems a little understated for Parula. The bird lacked any
trace of wingbars, but plumage wear sufficient to obliterate the bold wingbars
of this species seems improbable by 24 May.
PURPLE FINCH (Carpodacus purpureus). One male (1-1973); SE Utah;
Jon Dunn was consulted and gave the following evaluation of
the photograph. "I have absolutely no doubts that this Carpodacus
finch is an adult male Cassin's. The clinching feature is the bill which is well
shown in one of the two slides. It is long and the culmen is perfectly straight.
The bill of a Purple Finch is distinctly shorter and the culmen is always
curved. The very sharp back streaks are also indicative of Cassin's, but eastern
(nominate) Purples can approach Cassin's in this regards. Finally the rather
pale cast to the breast and only slight pink tint overall to the throat and
breast is much more keeping with Cassin's as opposed to the more heavily
saturated Purples. I would have expected the bird to have a few more evident
streaks on the lower flanks and undertail coverts for a Cassin's but I do see a
few, and misplaced twigs do cover up some of the key areas. In summary, most of
the visible features from the photos support Cassin's, the bill itself is the
clincher for that species."
OBSERVERS: Richard Bell, Bob Bond, Wayne Borders, Nelson Boschen, Beth
Dilley, Jon Dunn, Albert Gabbard, Lenore Gabbard, Terry Hall, Bruce Heath, Steve
Hedges, Craig Kesselhelm (CKe), Merlin Killpack, Craig Kneedy, Blaine Lunceford,
James Matheson, Nancy Noble, Robert Parsons, Ella Sorensen, Richard Sorensen,
Mike Tove, Jim Ure, Merrill Webb, Jim Woolf.
*Source: Utah Birds 5(1):14-19.