SEVENTH REPORT OF THE UTAH BIRD RECORDS COMMITTEE*
ELLA D. SORENSEN, KEITH L. DIXON, STEVEN P. HEDGES, CRAIG KNEEDY, CLAYTON M.
This, the seventh report of the Utah Bird Records
Committee, contains 22 accepted records of 20 species and three unaccepted
records of three species. As in previous Committee reports, evaluated records
are listed by common and scientific names following nomenclature of the American
Ornithologists' Union's 6th Checklist of North American Birds (1983) and
subsequent supplements. Information listed for each accepted record includes, in
the following order: common name, scientific name, Committee file number (in
parentheses), number of birds recorded including age and sex if available, dates
of known occurrence, locality, initials of all known observers (in parentheses)
with the finder listed first, initials of observers submitting written
documentation (doc: ) or photographs (photo: ), and any additional comments. The
information listed for unaccepted records is similar but lacks the initials of
The Utah Bird Records Committee would like to thank those
individuals who submitted records to the Committee. Additionally, the Committee
encourages anyone who observes an unusual bird in Utah to document and submit
their sighting to the Utah Bird Records Committee. Documentation forms are
available from any Committee member upon request
RED-NECKED GREBE Podiceps grisegena. (6-1988); one adult; 13 April
1988; Cataract Canyon, Canyonlands National Park; San Juan Co.; (RR,SC,ST); doc:
The grebe, well described by an observer who is experienced
with the species, was observed for 5 minutes actively feeding in a ponded side
channel adjacent to the Colorado River. This is the first documented record for
TRICOLORED HERON Egretta tricolor. (4-1988); one adult; 15-16 June
1988; between Salem and Spanish Fork, Utah Co.; (HC,MW); doc: HC,MW.
This is the second documented record for Utah. Interestingly,
the first record is also for mid-June (19 June 1973) and is an adult.
WHIMBREL Numenius phaeopus. (8-1988); two; 2 May1988; Layton, Davis
Co.; (CK,JN,ES,MH); doc: CK.
SHORT-BILLED DOWITCHER Limnodromus griseus. (15-1988); 25 adults; 16
July1988; Pariette Marsh, Uintah Co.; (ES,RS); doc: ES.
Short-billed Dowitcher is a rare but regular migrant through
Utah, usually as a single bird mixed with a flock of Long-billed Dowitchers. A
pure flock of 25 is unprecedented here. Since adults migrate earlier than
juveniles and Short-bills migrate earlier than Long-bills, the early date is
consistent with adult Short-billed Dowitchers. Any early arriving dowitcher in
Utah is a potential Short-billed Dowitcher.
MEW GULL Larus canus (3-1988); one winter adult; 29 Jan 1988; Salt
Lake City, Salt Lake Co.; (CK); doc; CK.
This is the first documented record of an adult Mew Gull in
BLACK-LEGGED KITTIWAKE Rissa tridactyla. (29-1987); one immature; 26
Nov 1987; Moab, Grand Co.; (CD,BW); doc: CD.
This immature kittiwake is the first live sighting in Utah.
The 26 November date is a reasonable time to expect this species in Utah. The
only other record is a specimen from Fish Springs NWR collected on 12 March
INCA DOVE Columbina inca. (13-1986); one adult; 12 Oct 1986;
Rockville, Washington Co.; (KW); doc: KW.
This is the third accepted record of this species, all from
southern Utah. All key marks were noted by an experienced observer.
SPOTTED OWL Strix occidentalis. (7-1988); two; 8 Apr 1988; Capitol
Reef National Park, Wayne Co.; (CK); doc: CK.
The increased interest in and surveys for this owl will
undoubtedly increase our understanding of the distribution and abundance of this
species in Utah.
ACORN WOODPECKER Melanerpes formicivorus. (17-1988); one specimen; 12
Jan 1988; near Monticello, San Juan Co.; (Cla).
See Utah Birds 3(3):56 for details on this record.
Since this specimen was found, up to four live birds have been seen by many
observers on repeated visits to the area. Breeding, while not confirmed, is
likely. There were reports of this species for several years from Coral Pink
Sand Dunes in Kane County, but the birds have proven difficult to find recently.
BLUE JAY Cyanocitta cristata. (15-1987); one; 17 Oct 1987; Peterson,
Morgan Co.; (AG,LG,CK); doc: LG.
Records of this species have become rather regular and most
observers are no longer documenting their sightings. The Committee will probably
discontinue reviewing records of this species.
BROWN THRASHER Toxostoma rufa. (14-1988); one adult; 21 Jun 1988; Salt
Lake City, Salt Lake Co.; (SL,CL,BH,CK); doc: BH.
There are few summer records of this thrasher in Utah and its
summer status is unknown.
BLACK-THROATED BLUE WARBLER Dendroica caerulescens. (23-1988); one
male; 24 Sep 1988; Beryl, Iron Co.; (ES,RS,CK); doc: ES,CK.
This is the third documented record of this distinctive
PALM WARBLER Dendroica palmarum. (19-1988); one; 29 Sep 1988; Fish
Springs NWR, Juab Co.; (JE); doc: JE.
One of the most distinctive characteristics of Palm Warbler
is the bobbing of the tail. As noted by the observer, "the bird was
vigorously bobbing/wagging its tail, not flicking." If this behavior is not
seen, the bird is likely not a Palm Warbler.
BLACK-AND-WHITE WARBLER Mniotilta varia. (18-1986); one; 15 Dec 1986;
Provo, Utah Co.; (JT); doc: JT.
This is one of the most frequently reported eastern warblers.
Most are not being documented and the Committee will probably discontinue
reviewing the species.
OVENBIRD Seirus aurocapillus. (16-1988); one; 29 July1988; Ogden,
Weber Co.; (JN,MK); doc: JN. (18-1988); one; 21-23 Sep 1988; Logan, Cache Co.; (TL,JL,SC,KA,LR,RR);
doc: TL,JL. (22-1988); one; 24 Sep1988; Beryl, Iron Co.; (CK,RS,ES); doc: ES.
The 29 July record is of special interest since it is the
first July record for the state (see Utah Birds 5(3):59). A small
population breeds in Colorado.
HOODED WARBLER Wilsonia citrina. (9-1988); one adult female; 18 May
1988; Logan, Cache Co.; (RR,KA,LR); doc: LR.
This is the second documented record for Utah.
ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK Pheucticus ludovicianus. (11-1988); one; 10 May
1988; Ogden, Weber Co.; (CK); doc: CK
A rare but regular transient through the state.
MCCOWN'S LONGSPUR Calcarius mccownii. (21-1988); one immature; 5-8 Oct
1988; Fish Springs NWR, Juab Co.; (JE); doc: JE.
The Committee was impressed with the detailed description of
this record. This is the second documented record for Utah.
BRONZED COWBIRD Molothrus aeneus. (27-1984); one adult male; Dec 1984;
Genola, Utah Co.; photo: TW.
This state-first record surfaced years after the original
sighting when the observer brought a photo to Merrill Webb. The observer then
sent a copy to the Records Committee. The photo clearly showed the distinctive
body and bill shape as well as the red eye (see Utah Birds 6(1):13). In
evaluating the record, Jon Dunn mused "I wonder how many Bronzed Cowbirds
have been walking around in the snow before."
LESSER GOLDFINCH Carduelis psaltria. (17-1986); one female; 19 Apr
1986; Wellsville, Cache Co.; (MT,SC); doc: MT.
Records for northern Utah have been increasing and the
Committee will discontinue reviewing this species.
RED-NECKED GREBE Podiceps grisegena. (12-1988); one adult; 7 May 1988;
Bear River oxbows at Benson, Cache Co.
The Committee felt that details were too sketchy for
BLACK VULTURE Coragyps atratus. (20-1987); two; 24 Sep1987; near
Gunlock, Washington Co.
Two birds were also seen during June, July, August, and
September 1985 that fit this description. It is an interesting record but there
was not enough detail presented toaccept this exceptional record which would
have been a state first.
DUSKY-CAPPED FLYCATCHER Myiarchus tuberculifer. (11-1986); one adult;
31 [sic] April 1986; one-quarter mile west of Colorado line, Grand Co.
Most Committee members were uncomfortable with the sketchy
details. It is easy to miss the rufous on the tail of an Ash-throated
Flycatcher, especially when looking from the rear when one sees only the central
tail feathers. There was no mention of bill size or shape. The downward mournful
whistle was not heard, an absolute necessity when considering this vagrant
flycatcher. The observer claims to have seen this species in SW Colorado, yet
according to Jack Reddall, there were no accepted sight records for this species
in Colorado at the time of this sighting. According to Jon Dunn, "genuine
Dusky-capped Flycatchers from Calif. are in the late fall and winter."
OBSERVERS: Keith Archibald, Scott Cheney, Harold Clayson, Coen Dexter, Joe
Engler, Albert Gabbard, Lenore Gabbard, Margy Halpin, Bruce Heath, Craig Kneedy,
Christina Larsen, Scott Larsen, Charles LaRue (CLa), Janis Lyon, Tom Lyon, Judy
Nelson, Larry Ryel, Ron Ryel, Ella Sorensen, Richard Sorensen, James Taylor,
Michael Tove, Sharon Tully, Kevin Wallace, Merrill Webb, Thomas J. Willis III,
*Source: Utah Birds 7(1):1-5.