Utah County Birders Newsletter
October 2011

    October Meeting
Upcoming Field Trips
    President's Message
    Bird of the Month
Field Trip Report - South Utah Lake
Backyard Bird of the Month
    September Hotline Highlights


Thursday, October 13th.
7:00 pm, Bean Museum, BYU

Late Fall/Early Winter Rarities

Dennis Shirley will do a workshop on searching for, identifying, etc., the following species: waterfowl, geese, loons, shorebirds and gulls.


Beginning birders are welcome.

October 9 (Sun), 2010: The Big Sit, Provo Airport Dike - Led by Eric Huish.  This will be our 10th year participating in the annual Big Sit! - We will sit in one spot out on the Provo Airport Dike all day and watch birds. We will be sitting on the southeast corner, on the dike just past the pump house, where you first see the lake when driving the dike clockwise. We will start at 6 a.m. Come anytime you like but there may or may not be anyone out there between Noon and 5:00 pm, we take a break during the slow time of the day. You can call us at 801-360-8777.

October 15 (Sat): Provo Canyon, Deer Creek, Aspen Grove - Led by Keeli Marvel.  We'll take a last look for summer birds and a first look for incoming winter birds and enjoy the fall colors. 7:30am-12:30pm. Meet at the parking lot east of the gas station at the mouth of Provo Canyon at 7:30am.

We are actively recruiting people to lead local half-day field trips, any time, any place.  If you would like to lead a field trip or if you have any ideas for this year’s field trips, please contact Keeli Marvel at - keeli.marvel@gmail.com


President's Message

by Bryan Shirley, UCB President

Kirtland’s Warbler

Endangered Species

This week there was an article in the news yesterday about the hundreds of species that made the cut and are moving a step closer to being listed as an Endangered Species. After reading the article, I spent a while trying to find out what other species were included, but could never find a real list. From what I could find there are only 3 birds included: Golden-winged Warbler, Black Rail, and the subspecies of Sandhill Crane found in Florida. None of these birds really affect us in Utah, unless you count a stray Golden-winged Warbler in the Tintics.

All the reading I did got me wondering about how many endangered bird species we have in Utah and throughout the US. In Utah we have 1 endangered subspecies, the Southwestern Willow Flycatcher. It is found in riparian habitat throughout the southern part of the state. Our only other listing is another subspecies, the Mexican Spotted Owl, which is listed as threatened. It is also found in only in the southern part of the state. California Condors are listed as Endangered, but apparently this listing does not include the “experimental” population released along the Utah-Arizona border. We also have 3 species that are candidates for being listed in the future: both Greater and Gunnison Sage Grouse and Yellow-billed Cuckoos.

We also have Sensitive Species or Species of Special Concern in Utah. This list includes species that there is a “threat of continued population vitality” and used to help protect species here before they need to be listed as Endangered Species. It includes things like Northern Goshawk, Black Swift, American White Pelican, and others. The entire list, including species other than birds, can be found at the following link:

Here is the list of Endangered Species in the continental US. I omitted the large number of species found only in Hawaii, Puerto Rico, and other islands. I also omitted the several endangered subspecies. That leaves us with 15 species, 3 of which are probably already extinct. While each species on this list has a unique story, it is without a doubt thanks to the protection given through the Endangered Species Act that most, if not all, of these species are still with us today.

1. Short-tailed Albatross
2. California Condor
3. Whooping Crane
4. Eskimo Curlew (Extinct?)
5. Piping Plover
6. Florida Scrub Jay
7. Wood Stork
8. Least Tern
9. Roseate Tern
10. Black-capped Vireo
11. Bachman’s Warbler (Extinct?)
12. Golden-cheeked Warbler
13. Kirtland’s Warbler
14. Ivory-billed Woodpecker (Maybe Extinct?)
15. Red-cockaded Woodpecker

Next time you are goofing around on the web try doing a bit of reading to learn what factors led to these species being in trouble and what is being done to help them. Hopefully it will give you an appreciation for both the struggle each species is going through to survive and the hard work of countless people on a federal, state, and local level to help them.

Bird of the Month

No Bird of the Month this Month.

If you would like to write an article for the Bird of the Month, please contact Oliver Hansen -- 801-378-4771 - byucactus@gmail.com .

Click here for past 'Birds of the Month'.


Field Trip Report
River Lane, 4000 West and Lincoln Point - September 24, 2011

4000 West, Lakeshore

by Bryan Shirley

On September 24th we had about 15 people on our Utah County field trip. We started at River Lane. It was pretty birdy. Lots of Yellow-rumped and Orange-crowned Warblers, plus one Townsend's. We also birded 40th West, the Benjamin Slough, and Lincoln Beach. There was 1 Great Egret at 40th West and a few shorebirds as well.

The following is a list of birds seen: Gadwall, Mallard, 2 Ring-necked Pheasant, Pied-billed Grebe, Western/Clark's Grebe, American White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret, Snowy Egret, White-faced Ibis, Turkey Vulture, Cooper's Hawk, American Kestrel, Merlin, American Coot, Sandhill Crane, Killdeer, American Avocet, Greater Yellowlegs, Spotted Sandpiper, Long-billed Dowitcher , Wilson's Phalarope, Ring-billed Gull, California Gull, Caspian Tern, Rock Pigeon, Eurasian Collared-Dove, Mourning Dove, Common Nighthawk, Downy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Say's Phoebe, Black-billed Magpie, Common Raven, Northern Rough-winged Swallow, Tree Swallow, Barn Swallow, Black-capped Chickadee, Marsh Wren, Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Blue-gray Gnatcatcher, American Robin, European Starling, Orange-crowned Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Vesper Sparrow, Song Sparrow, Lincoln's Sparrow, White-crowned Sparrow, Red-winged Blackbird, Yellow-headed Blackbird, American Goldfinch and House Sparrow.


Backyard Bird of the Month
September 2011

Dennis Shirley - Elk Ridge
Clark's Nutcracker - seen through my scope while viewing an elk herd on Loafer Mountain.

Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
Western Screech-Owl - sitting in the dead limbs of an Aspen silhouetted against the early dawn sky.

Steve Carr - Holladay
Black-chinned, Broad-tailed, Calliope, Rufous Hummingbirds - all 4 at the feeders within 30 minutes of each other.

Send your backyard bird of the month to Cheryl Peterson (375-1914 or cherylpeterson@gmail.com) by the end of each month.