Utah County Birders Newsletter
June 2012

    June Meeting
Upcoming Field Trips
    President's Message
    In Search of 'Lifers'
    Bird of the Month
    Field Trip Report
- Provo Airport Dike
    Field Trip Report
- Antelope Island
    Field Trip Report
- St. George
    Field Trip Report
- Ophir Canyon
Backyard Bird of the Month
    May Hotline Highlights


Thursday, June 14th, 2012

Evening Field Trip - Our regular monthly UCB meetings in June and July will be evening field trips. Our first will be to Payson Canyon on June 14th, 2012. Meet at the Payson Walmart at 7:00pm. Our target will be Flammulated Owl and maybe Saw-whet. We will end by 11:00pm for those still working who need a good night's sleep!


Beginning birders are welcome.

June 14, 2012 (Thur): 7pm-11pm. Payson Canyon owling, led by Dennis Shirley - Meet at the Payson Walmart at 7:00pm. Our target will be Flammulated Owl and maybe Saw-whet. We will end by 11:00pm for those still working who need a good night's sleep! This field trip will take the place of our monthly meeting.

June 23, 2012 (Sat): 6am-1pm (or so). Uintas, Mirror Lake Hwy, led by Oliver Hansen. We will go on a field trip to the Uintas and bird at stops along the Mirror Lake Highway and the Mirror Lake Campground. Bring a lunch and bug spray. Target birds include Gray Jay, Clark's Nutcracker, Crossbills, and maybe even Rosy Finches. We will meet at 6:00 am at the Park-&-ride Lot at the mouth of Provo Canyon (8th North, Orem).

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


Cheezy Bird Jokes

I thought it might be kind of fun for this month to have a bit of bird humor. First of all though I should give a disclaimer that I didn’t write these jokes, nor do I claim that they are funny in the least – that is why I didn’t title this funny bird jokes! There are lots of bird jokes on the internet, but surprisingly few about birders. There are also a few funny photos and stories on utahbirds.org that various people have sent in. Here is the link:
Now, to the jokes.

Why do hummingbirds hum? Because they don’t know the words

Two vultures were in the desert eating a dead clown. One turned to the other and said “Does this taste funny to you?”

Two elderly vultures decided they weren’t up to migration this year, so they thought they would use an airplane to migrate this year. When they were about to board the plane the flight attendant asked if they would like to check the partially eaten armadillo they were carrying. The vultures replied “no thanks, it’s our carrion”.

Which bird is most useful in the kitchen? A nutcracker.

Two robins were sitting in a tree. “I’m really hungry’” the first one said. “Me too” said the second. So the two robins found a plot of ground full of worms and ate and ate. “I’m so full I don’t think I can fly back up to our tree,” the first robin said. “Me neither. Let’s just lay here and bask in the warm sun.” said the second. So they plopped down, relaxed and soaked in the rays. But as they dozed a big fat tom cat sneaked in and gobbled them both up. As he sat there licking his lips he thought “I love baskin’ robins.”

How do you ID a Bald Eagle? All his feathers are combed over to one side.

What bird is always out of breath? A puffin!

You know you are a fanatic birder if:
• You check the hotlines before planning family vacation
• On vacation you don’t even slow down at famous tourist destinations because you are in a hurry to get to the city dump
• You can’t run to Walmart without taking your binoculars
• You think it is perfectly normal to drive to all night to look for a rare sparrow
• You listen to Western Bird Calls while you jog
• You can’t remember your anniversary or kids birthdays, but remember the day and time of every life bird
• You think it is ok to talk about boobies during dinner
• You keep a copy of your life list in the safe deposit box
• Your kids all have bird names
• You take your scope to a nude beach and only watch seabirds
• Your friends have tennis elbow, but you have warbler neck
• You don’t have a problem with miraculous stunts in movies, but it really bothers you when a scene that is supposed to be in New York has a California Quail calling in the background
• You thought any of these jokes are funny!

In Search of “Lifers
by Flora Duncan

Just thought I would like to share an adventure to add a few lifers to my list. I started to make a "Life List" and discovered that there were three woodpeckers in California that I had not seen. As a result, Esther, Bekky and I planned a trip to California instead of making the annual Elderhostel--Road Scholar thinking that it could be less structured and more enjoyable.

The target birds were Red-breasted Sapsucker, Nuttal's Woodpecker, and the White-headed Woodpecker. As luck would have it, the first stop was Stillman Horse Camp in Nevada, County. The bird was among the first spotted. Then we went on to Visalia, to visit with another daughter and her husband David, who are serving on a mission. On their Pday, we traveled along the St. John's River Walk Trail, where among other birds we located three Nuttal's Woodpeckers.

The next day while traveling to Long Beach, we stopped at McGill Campground on Mt. Pinos (thanks to suggestion by Brian Shirley) where we took our picnic lunch and the first bird to fly by was the White-headed Woodpecker. Besides the birds, we had a nice visit with another daughter and her family.

What to do with the remaining seven days? I looked in my bird book to see if there were any other birds in California that needed to be spotted. At Ken Malloy Park in Orange County, we saw the Belding's Savannah Sparrow. Near Stuart Mesa rest stop there was a Tricolored Blackbird waiting to be spotted.

The next stop was Lake Calavera where we found the California Towhee, California Thrasher, and the Wrentit—Jackpot. All these "lifers" were there with may old friends.

To cap off the trip we had a thirteen hour pelagic trip out of San Diego with an Audubon group that had about twenty top birders from California with their cameras with the huge lenses. New birds for this trip were: Xantus' Murrelet, Pink-footed Shearwater, Black Storm Petrel, South Polar Skua--evoked the most response from the passengers. Amazing to me was to see Western Wood-Peewee, and a Wilson's Warbler flying many miles from land.
A short stop at Lytle Ranch topped off the trip. Bekky and Esther had many more lifers.

We really appreciated the material shared by Ned Bixler. The smart phone was great to help with maps and accessing E-Bird for recent sightings.

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
Provo Airport Dike and Provo River Parkway
- May 5th, 2012
Leena Rogers

On a cold, blustery Saturday morning eleven birders led by Milt Moody birded around the Provo Airport Dike. A marathon run had been scheduled for the same time slot, so the parking lots near Utah Lake State Park were not available, having been roped off with yellow tape, excluding anyone not involved with the run. Despite the small setback, the group set out to loop around the dike. The best birds of the morning were a GREAT-HORNED OWL perched close to a nest with two chicks, a vividly colored BULLOCK'S ORIOLE, several noisy VIRGINIA RAILS heard in the rushes, and a LARK SPARROW. Despite the cold wind we recorded a total of 43 species. Thanks so much,Milt, for a great morning of birding!



Field Trip Report
Antelope Island Causeway and Garr Ranch
- May 11th, 2012
Keeli Marvel


Ten Utah County Birders met this morning for a field trip to Antelope Is. Causeway and Garr Ranch. Highlights of the trip included:

*Four or so AMERICAN GOLDEN PLOVER interspersed with the hundreds of BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER, a couple of SNOWY PLOVER and a couple of SEMIPALMATED PLOVER, a few dozen peeps(most IDd as WESTERN SANDPIPERS) and several RED KNOTS all between miles 5 and 6 on the mud flats on the north side of the road.


*A GRASSHOPPER SPARROW on the way to Garr Ranch



Field Trip Report
Southern Utah including St. George and Lytle Ranch
- May 25th-26th, 2012

by Oliver Hansen


Thanks to Keeli Marvel for a great trip to Washington County this weekend. I joined 8 other birders on Saturday morning at Lytle Ranch and we birded Saturday and Sunday (they got there a day earlier). Some highlights:

Lytle Ranch - Summer tanagers, a snake eating a phainopepla (seriously!), anna's hummingbird, hooded orioles, and one of the best moments was a cassin's and a western kingbird sitting in the same tree for a great side by side comparison.

Welcome springs was a bust - must have been too windy.

Ivins Res. - baby coots, wilson's phalarope, golden eagle

Spring Park & Washington fields - mute swans continue, fly-over white-faced ibis, spotted sandpiper, lesser nighthawks

Zions (trail to Angel's Landing) - Spotted owl male was heard calling twice above the alcove where they roost (lots of white-wash in the alcove), black-throated gray warblers, white-throated swifts, a fly-over perrigrine

Grafton - no verm. fc or bronzed cowbird, phainopepla

Springdale amphitheater - No roufous crowned sparrows seen (possibly heard), a few phainopepla

Lava point - We tried hard to turn many Turkey Vultures into condors with no success. Hairy woodpecker, steller's jay, red-breasted nuthatch, western bluebirds.

Great company, great birds, great weather (minus the wind). Can't ask for more.


Field Trip Report
Saratoga Springs and Ophir Canyon
- May 26th, 2012
by Eric Huish

We first stopped in Saratoga Springs. We couldn't find any Grasshopper Sparrows. Too windy maybe. We did see Burrowing Owls, a Short-eared Owl, lots of Horned Larks, Meadowlarks, a Lark Sparrow and Brewer's Sparrow.

We then drove out to Ophir Canyon. It was very windy and overcast while we were in the lower part of the canyon and before we were able to bird the upper canyon it started pouring rain and hailing. Highlights in Ophir Canyon were Wild Turkey, Say's Phoebe, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Olive-sided Flycatcher, several Western Tanagers and 4 Pinyon Jays mobbing a Red-tailed Hawk.


Backyard Bird of the Month

May 2012

Milt Moody – Provo
Rose-breasted Grosbeak -- a first!

Steve Carr - Holladay
Black-headed Grosbeak - Have been in my yard every year for 42 years. Sometimes, even nested there.

Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
Western Wood-Pewee - landed for a moment in the maple tree by driveway.
Update: Olive-sided Flycatcher - fly catching from the top of a dead aspen in the front yard. Yard Lifer #101!

Bruce Robinson – West Jordan
Bullock's Oriole - Competing at the feeder with the hummingbirds

Dennis Shirley – Elk Ridge
Plumbeous Vireo on May 10th.

Yvonne Carter – Highland
A Western Tanager finally appeared at the feeders. Haven't seen one here for three years!

Glenn Barlow – Fruit Heights
I am happy to report that I had a small flock of Western Tanagers in the pine trees outside my bedroom window this morning (May 27). There were both males and females. What a beautiful sight!

Report your favorite backyard bird each month to Cheryl Peterson at 801-375-1914 or CherylPeterson@gmail.com

2012 Dues

 Thanks to all who have supported us in the past.  If you are interested in officially joining us this year, make out a check to Utah County Birders for $15.00 and mail it to:

 Carol Nelson
2831 Marrcrest West
Provo, Utah 84604

 You will be helping to support the web page and we will send you a copy of the newsletter.