Utah County Birders Newsletter
September 2014

    September Meeting
Upcoming Field Trips
    Captainís Log
    Bird of the Month
Backyard Bird of the Month
    August Hotline Highlights

Printable Version


There is no Meeting this month.  Please join us on one of our filed trips.


20 September, 2014 (Sat). 7am-late afternoon/early evening. Daggett and/or Cache counties. Led by Keeli Marvel. I still need these counties for the 2014 challenge so I will be leading a long day field trip to see if we can finish both counties. Bring a lunch and plan on being back late afternoon/early evening. Because it is a lot of driving, if you would like to go, please plan on splitting the cost of gas.  Meet at 7:00 am at Winco Foods, Orem 800 North exit off I-15. We'll meet at the west end of the parking lot near the entrance.

27 September, 2014 (Sat). 7am-early afternoon. Provo Canyon and DWR Raptor Watch Day at Squaw Peak Orem Overlook.  We will bird the Provo Canyon area then join the DWR Raptor Watch Day event at the Orem Overlook on Squaw Peak Trail Road. Meet at 7:00 am at Canyon View Park (the first park on the left as you head up Provo Canyon, the park with the roundabout).  Here is a map with a marker on the spot - https://maps.google.com/?q=40.32360+-111.64519

11 October, 2014 (Sat). The Big Sit, Provo Airport Dike - Led by Eric Huish. This will be our 13th year participating in the annual Big Sit! - We will sit in one spot out on the Provo Airport Dike all day and watch birds.  Last year we sat at the SW Corner.  The precise location for this year will be announced before the Sit. 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.

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 yearís field trips, please contact Bryan Shirley at - bt_shirley@hotmail.com  

Captainís Log
: September 2014

Puffins and Murres at the Oregon Coast aquarium in their captive bird aviary.

Three Arches Rocks, our view from our deck at the house.

A sea star and sea anemones in the tide pools at Haystack Rock.

by Keeli Marvel

I just got back from spending a week vacation on the Northern Californian and Oregon coasts, and it was really hard to come home. The weather was nice and misty and cool. My husband and I spent a couple of days driving through the Redwood National and State Parks. We spent one night in Crescent City, CA, and I got to do a little birding on the beach and near Battery Point Lighthouse while we were there. I saw quite a few sandpipers (mostly Western, I think), Western Gulls, a couple of Heermanís Gulls, Semi-palmated Plover, and a pair of Peregrine Falcons hunting on the beach. Out in the harbor near Battery Point Lighthouse I saw several species, including a pair of lifer Red-throated Loons. I also saw Surf Scoters (males in breeding plumage!), Black Oystercatchers, Black-bellied Plovers, Surfbirds, more sandpipers, Black Turnstone, and a lone female Harlequin Duck. That was definitely the best birding of the trip.

From there we drove the long but scenic route all the way up Hwy 101 to the north/central Oregon coast. Doug Mead had recommended a stop at the Sea Lion caves, so we stopped, paid our money, and took a walking path and an elevator down to a sea cave where I got to see a Pigeon Guillemot colony and some late nesting gulls. No sea lions this trip, but still worth the money!

We spent the rest of the week with my family in a rental home on the coast near Tillamook, Oregon. From the deck at our rental home every day I saw Chestnut-backed Chickadees, Cedar Waxwings, Stellerís Jays and, because we were up on a hill overlooking the beach, some great up close views of soaring Turkey Vultures. Occasionally a cormorant (Iím guessing Pelagic or Brandtís) or a Brown Pelican would fly by a ways out along the shoreline.

We took a couple of short day trips up and down the coast to see some of the local sights. While wandering along the trails through the Sitka Spruce forest at Cape Meares, I heard some Red Crossbills. I saw hundreds of breeding Common Murres, which breed and roost on rocky sea stacks up and down the coast from where we were staying. I saw them offshore at Yaquina Head Lighthouse in Newport, at Cape Meares Lighthouse and Haystack Rock. The sound they make is truly amazing and reminds me of the penguins in March of the Penguins. I tried to find the Tufted Puffins that were nesting at Haystack Rock but unfortunately we got there too late in the day, and the only ones I saw on the trip were captive at the Oregon Coast Aquarium in Newport. Haystack Rock is particularly known for their tide pools, which we got to explore, and where we found sea stars and sea anemones. Most of the birding for the majority of the trip was done incidental to our other activities, but I was pleasantly surprised by the species I was able to see. If youíve ever had the desire to spend any time on that stretch of coastline, I would highly recommend it! You wonít be disappointed.

Happy Birding!




Bird of the Month

Jonas with Reddish Hermit.

Reddish Hermit
Phaethornis ruber
by Bryan Shirley

So the bird of the month this time includes a story about a cool bird experience I had a while ago. I was leading a tour in Brazil and we had stopped in a town called Ubatuba - a birdy beach town between Sao Paulo and Rio. Anybody who has ever birded this area probably knows Jonas, a very nice guy with awesome bird feeders on his property. His yard is always buzzing with numerous hummingbird species and his banana feeder is always covered with a variety of Tanagers. That day we got 17 species of hummers (most, but not all at Jonasí house).

One species Jonas has around his property is called a Reddish Hermit. There is usually one hanging around the fringes of the gardens or along the road in the forest, but they donít ever come to the feeders. At 8 cm long and weighing just 2-3 grams, they canít compete with the masses of much larger hummers at the feeders Ė some of which are more than twice as long and weigh nearly 4 times as much. But occasionally they do try and always end up regretting it. A few weeks before we visited Jonas witnessed one attempt first hand. A brave (or very hungry?) Reddish Hermit had just started to drink from a feeder when it was quickly attacked by another much larger hummingbird. The Reddish Hermit was knocked to the ground and lay motionless. Jonas picked it up and held it for a minute, then repeatedly dipped its bill into the feeder hoping to revive the poor hummer. Eventually the Hermit started moving a bit, then it finally flew out of Jonasí hands back to the forest.

The next day Jonas was watching the feeders and he noticed the Hermit flying around the outskirts of the garden, looking at the feeders but apparently not quite ready to give it another try. Later in the day when Jonas was filling a feeder the Hermit took advantage of the other hummingbirds being scared and flew right in and drank while Jonas was holding the feeder. The next day the Hermit came back, but Jonas was sitting down watching the birds, not holding the feeder. The Hermit flew right up to Jonas and continued to buzz by his face until Jonas finally stood up and walked over to the feeder. As soon as he did the Hermit zipped to the empty feeder and took a long sip. Now everyday no matter where in the yard Jonas is the Hermit will find him and continue to buzz around him until Jonas stops what he is doing and goes to the feeder! The Reddish Hermit wasnít a lifer for me that day, but it was by far the most fun sighting of the trip.

Reddish Hermit Facts:

ē Found east of the Andes in most low elevations of South America
ē Eats primarily nectar, but takes quite a few insects as well
ē Fairly common in most areas
ē Nest is cone shaped and sticks to the inside of a long hanging leaf (like other hermits)

If you would like to write an article for the Bird of the Month, please contact Machelle - machelle13johnson@yahoo.com

Click here for past 'Birds of the Month'.

Backyard Bird of the Month

August 2014

Jack Binch - Sandy
Besides the hummingbird wars, my favorite bird(s) has been the bakers dozen
California Quail that have been visiting.

Harold Clayson - Salem
At the beginning of the month I had Black-headed Grosbeaks and Bullock's Orioles invade my plum tree, in the middle of the month I had Western Tanagers in the plum tree, and this week as I was filling feeders for Rufous Hummingbirds et.al. there was a Common Nighthawk circling the yard. Pick 'em.


Jeff Cooper - Pleasant Grove
I was pretty sure that the low-flying Black-crowned Night-Heron (yard lifer) that cruised over my porch at the beginning of the month would be my August bird of the month, but the tiny young male Calliope Hummingbird with its daily visits the last week of the month created a tie for August.

Eric Huish - Pleasant Grove
MacGillivray's Warbler - I always have one or two spend time in the yard during fall migration.


Alan Keller - Orem
4 Western Wood-Pewees for a few day at the end of August and 1 or 2 Rufus Hummingbirds.

Milt Moody - Provo
I saw a Red-breasted Nuthatch which I hadn't seen for quite some time.


Leena Rogers - Provo
A colorful Western Tanager visited our yard. What a treat to see this rare visitor checking out our feeders!


Bruce Robinson - West Jordan
Swainson's Hawk - The youngsters have fledged, landed on my roof, in my yard, etc. (And removed at least 3 Eurasian Collared Doves from the population).

Alton Thygerson - Provo
Mourning and Eurasian Collared-Doves - Watched the pecking order involving the Eurasian keeping the Mourning Dove away from the bird seed.

Report your favorite backyard bird each month to Eric Huish at 801-360-8777 or erichuish@gmail.com


The Utah County Birders Newsletter is now online only/mostly. 


We've decided to stop the regular paper mail version of the UCB Newsletter.  This will save our club on Printing, Postage and Paper.  If you would like an email notice each month when the Newsletter is posted online please send an email to Eric Huish at erichuish@gmail.com.


We are willing to print the online version of the newsletter and mail it out to anyone who still wants a paper copy or who doesn't have internet access.  If you know of anyone who enjoys the UCB Newsletter but doesn't have internet access please let Eric Huish or Keeli Marvel know and we will make sure they get a copy.


Printable Version of this UCB Newsletter