1. Utah Birds: A Revised Checklist by Behle, Sorensen & White  [sightings before 1985]
  2. Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs, #1 (1976 BYU Press)  [sightings before 1976]
  3. Utah Birds, Guide, Check-list and Occurrence Charts by William H. Behle & Michael L. Perry  [sightings before 1975]
  4. The records of the Utah chapter of the Union of Field Ornithologist  [sightings between 1980 and 1987]
  5. The reports of the Utah Bird Records Committee of the Utah Ornithological Society   [mainly sightings after 1984]
  6. Records reviewed by the Utah Bird Records Committee [sightings since the last Records Committee report]

"Documented" and "unconfirmed" sightings:

The "Sightings of Utah Review Species" list contains "documented sightings" that have been accepted by the sources listed above.  At the bottom of the list for each species is a link to the "unconfirmed sightings."  These sighting records are from hotline reports, Christmas Bird Count reports, records received by the Records Committee by not reviewed and from records that were not accepted by the Records Committee, but that may have been a sighting of that species.


Color codes for species names:

  1. Presently on the Review List
  2. No longer on the Review List  (The Records Committee no longer requests documentation).
  3. Reported in Utah, but not on the latest official state checklist published by the Records Committee

   UOS - Utah Ornithological Society
   UFO - Utah Field Ornithologists
   CBC - Christmas Bird Count (sponsored by the Audubon Society)

Birds seen in Utah that are not on the Utah Checklist:

There are several sightings of bird species that do not appear on the official checklist of the birds of Utah.  Here is a list of those birds with some comment:

  1. California Condor:  The sheepherder sightings in western Iron Co. reported by Woodbury around 1932 are not well documented.  Behle says: "A taxidermist (Mark Jackson of Parowan), told the late A. W. Woodbury in 1932 that condors were occasionally seen by sheepherders during the winter in western Iron County where they feed on sheep carcasses, especially during sever winters."  Recent sightings of the California Condor are attributed to captive release programs:  "On December 12, 1996, 6 California Condors were released on the Vermilion Cliffs of the Paria Plateau, in Northern Arizona [very close to the Utah border].  The condors were brought to Arizona on October 29, 1996 and have been held in the release facility since then." | Article |
  2. Greater Flamingo: There are five sightings between 1962 and 1971, two supported by photographs.  These are considered to be escapees rather than wild birds far from their normal range and therefore are not on the checklist for Utah.
  3. Chilean Flamingo: A Chilean Flamingo which escaped from Tracy Avary in Salt Lake City around 1990, is seen fairly regularly when it returns to the Great Salt Lake.
  4. American Woodcock: Although there is one well documented record for one individual bird in the state, the observer later retracted the record, feeling strongly that there can be no room for error on a first state record.
  5. Blue-throated Hummingbird: Although this is an acceptable record according to (Behle, Worensen & White -1985) and there had been several other unsubstantiated records in the state, the policy was:  two valid sightings or one collected specimen in order to put the bird on the official checklist.
  6. (Recently added to the Utah Checklist) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker:  "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).
  7. Pileated Woodpecker There are four sighting records; the first in 1892 and the last from 1962.  "Pileated Woodpecker shows up on some old Utah lists, based on a supposed specimen record from Utah. That specimen was actually collected in the Southeast US and has two labels -- the correct label and an erroneous label from another smaller bird. Even specimens are not always correct. Sight records, unless documented, are always subject to suspicion." (quote from Steve Hedges of the Utah Bird Records Committee).

New Birds on Utah Checklist:

See "Recent changes in the Review Species List." Look at the "additions" sections to see the bird species recently added to the state checklist.

There's also a list of "First State Records", which has links to the first accepted sight records for Utah.

Gunnison Sage-Grouse:  "There is a small population in the Monticello area (~100 birds) that have been studied for a number of years by Utah Division of Wildlife biologists and others. Clait Braun, who did the taxonomic work on the Gunnison's, talked about the two species and the proposed changes (now adopted by the AOU) at a Utah Wildlife Society meeting 3-4 years ago. Most of the Gunnison grouse are in Colorado and Colorado has developed several management plans to protect the grouse and hopefully prevent it from being listed. I haven't checked but I suspect there are a number of specimens of Gunnison grouse in the collections at U of U, USU, and BYU."  ~ Steve Hedges  [year 2000]

Cackling Goose:  As of 1994, a new species, Cackling Goose has been split off of the Canada Goose species.  Here's an article on "The New Goose" by Mark Stackhouse.