July Meeting | Field Trip | The Good Life | Robin's View | UCB Newsletter | TV Special | "Top 5" Lists | State Hotline Highlights

July 1999

July Meeting

July 21st , 7:00 PM
Bean Museau
BYU Campus, Provo

Slide Presentations
from the travels of several Utah County
Birders. Including:
Dennis Shirley
"Hawaii, and the Rio Grand Valley"
Darlene Amott
"Belize and the Yucatan Peninsula"

Future Meetings:
August 20th
Annual Pot Luck Dinner
This year at Natalie Tanner's Home.
September 15th
Ann Neville, who is in charge of the
Kennicote Copper Wetlands. Talks about
"Birds of the South Great Salt Lake" and the
"Birds of Lake Baykal", in eastern Russia.

Field Trip:

August 7th

Uinta Mountains - Bald Mountain area

Target birds: Williamson's Sapsucker, Pine Grosbeak, Black Rosy-Finch, Gray Jay, and the Three-toed Woodpecker

Meet at the Bean Museum at 5:00 AM - we'll return in the evening

For those who would like to camp out the night before, we'll meet at the Upper Provo River Falls overlook parking lot at 7:00 AM.

There are no other field trips scheduled for August, but there could be impromptu field trips called if some unusual birds show up.

The Good Life

by Darlene Amott

Libraries - Why?

Not too long ago, I attended a conference in which one of the workshop sessions centered around libraries, their purpose and value. Included in the discussion were considerations of both traditional and computerized libraries. One of the conclusions the panel came to was that in spite of all of the material on the web, the printed word was still necessary. An incident which occurred shortly after the conference has caused me to give more than a little thought to libraries, particularly personal libraries, and the printed word.

On the way to Kauffman Ranch several weeks ago, a question arose which none of us could answer with certainty. I can't remember what the topic of conversation was at the time, but I mentioned that I had a book on the topic in a drawer under the passenger seat. In the process of finding that particular book, out came a Peterson's Western bird Guide, a Peterson's Butterfly Guide, a Peterson's Guide to the Atmosphere, a Stoke's Western Bird Guide, and an Audubon Wildflower Guide. Yes, I do carry a small library in my car. When I want information, I want it now, not when I can get to my computer. It was nice to have access to the book on that day.

There is another reason for having a small library in the car. I am finding more and more often that an individual who is interested in birds is equally aware of the other beautiful things in the area. For example, My nephew, Keith, who lives in Logan, has been a fine birder for years. He is now an equally passionate lover of butterflies. Many of you are too. I found out that his passion for other things we see on birding trips has expanded to ants. He excitedly showed me his ant identification book and told me of the different kind of ants we have. How can someone become excited about an ant? That one, kind of leaves me wondering, but I can become passionate about clouds, and trees, and flowers. It is nice to have the sources for identification and information handy. If there were room in the car, I am sure I would have more.

When someone can show me how to put all of the books on a palm pilot, so I can carry them with me, then, perhaps, I will be converted to an electronic library. However, there is nothing like the feel, the wonder, and the magnetic attraction of a printed book.

Robin's View

by Robin Tuck

Now, where was I...

I got up early and picked Merrill up to do one of his breeding bird surveys. This one started in Oak City Canyon. I had never been to Oak City, all it has been to me is 'lights over yonder' as I have driven home from Delta.

Perhaps you don't know about breeding bird surveys. I may have it wrong, but what we do, or rather what I do while Merrill conducts the survey is: We drive to some obscure starting place, wait for the magic hour, measure the temperature, then count the birds seen or heard in a three minute period, then we drive 2 mile down the road and do the three minute thing again. After we have done this 50 times, we quit, eat lunch and head for home. The appointed hour seems to be about 5:30 am, when it is still dark, and, yes, Merrill can recognize a whole bunch of birds by song. Alas, I thought I had the American Robin song down, but no, it was a Western Tanager. Hey, they sound alike.

By the time we got back to Oak City it was light, and the 1/2 mile point fell smack dab at the church in the center of town. But I didn't really get to see the town. We whistled in, spent 3 minutes and whistled out, hardly seeing a thing. I liked what I saw, so I'll go back some day and look a little harder.

Just out of town, we finished our 3 minute session and started for the next one and saw a Double-crested Cormorant looking lost and forlorn. Anyway, we thought it looked lost and forlorn. Merrill said he couldn't count it, we didn't see it during the 3 minute watching time nor at the 1/2 mile stopping place. Our next stop was a little short of Merrill's usual stopping place (my odometer is just a little different from his) and we saw a pond on the west side Merrill had not noticed before, and sure enough, there were two Double-breasted Cormorants there, an new species for the route.

The Breeding Bird Survey favors roads that are not much traveled, being on main highways only as a last resort. It's hard to hear the birds with cars buzzing past and it's dangerous pulling over every 1/2 mile. So the route took us down a dirt road over to Lyndyl to Highway 6, then north to the old abandoned highway. Here we found what I think was the best birds of the trip, a pair of Burrowing Owls.

I'd like to tell you how to find them, but it's hard. We were just a little ways off the main road a couple of miles north of Lyndall, on the east side of Highway 6 about a quarter mile up the old highway. Precise, huh? Well, take out your GPS or your mapping software, we found them between N39 32.809' W112 21.391' and N39 32.869' W112 21.341'. They should still be there.

Utah County Birders Newsletter

The UCB Newsletter is available through three different sources: regular mail, e-mail and on our web site. (The formats are a bit different) The fastest way is by e-mail which is one to three days faster than by mail. If you would like an e-mail copy sent to you "hot from the press" please send requests to newsletter@utahbirds.org. (You can request any combination of the above newsletter sources).

Also, if you have information about special events, TV programs or other thing that might be of interest to our birding group or if you would like to write an article or report on birding trips or other birding activities, please send it to:

Milton Moody, 2795 Indian Hills Drive, Provo, UT 84604
phone Milton at 373-2795

TV Special

A 10 week series will start on
Tuesday July 20th at 7:00 PM
on Channel 7.

Life of Birds
by David Attenborough:

"To Fly or Not to Fly"

Utah County Birders

"Top 5" Lists

Life List for a Utah County Birder Worldwide
(bird species seen worldwide)

  1. 1118 - Ned Hill
  2. 813 - Robert Parsons
  3. 795 - Dennis Shirley
  4. 701 - Beula Hinkley
  5. 650 - Sue Hinde

Life List for a Utah County Birder in the ABA Area
(bird species seen in No. American, north of the Mexican border)

  1. 696 - Ned Hill
  2. 550 - Merrill Webb
  3. 517 - Beula Hinkley
  4. 513 - Dennis Shirley
  5. 508 - Robert Parsons

Life List for a Utah County Birder in the 50 United States
(bird species seen in the USA)

  1. 558 - Dennis Shirley
  2. 550 - Merrill Webb
  3. 525 - Beula Hinkley
  4. 466 - Matt DeVries
  5. 352 - Milton Moody

Life List for a Utah County Birder in the State of Utah
(bird species seen in Utah)

  1. 357 - Merrill Webb
  2. 326 - Robert Parsons
  3. 324 - Dennis Shirley
  4. 314 - Ned Hill
  5. 313 - Matt DeVries

Big Year for a Utah County Birder in the State of Utah
(bird species seen in Utah in one given year)

  1. 287 - Larene Wyss (1997)
  2. 280 - Merrill Webb (1996)
  3. 263 - Julie VanMoorhem (1996)
  4. 261 - Dennis Shirley
  5. 256 - Junece Markham (1996)

Utah County Life List
(birds species seen in Utah County)

  1. 274 - Merrill Webb
  2. 267 - Dennis Shirley
  3. 249 - Beula Hinkley
  4. 235 - Milton Moody
  5. 227 - Tuula Rose

Utah County Big Year
(bird species seen in one given year in Utah County)

  1. 230 - Dennis Shirley, (1997)
  2. 223 - Merrill Webb (1996)
  3. 205 - Junece Markham (1996)
  4. 203 - Reed Stone (1996)
  5. 200 - Cheryl Peterson (1996)
  6. 200 - Chris Peterson (1996)
  7. 200 - Tuula Rose

Utah County Big Day
(bird species seen in a given day in Utah County)

  1. 112 - Eric Huish & Christian Peay (5 June 1999)

Utah County Life-time Yard List
(bird species seen while you're in your yard)

  1. 92 - Reed Stone
    Best birds: Osprey; Black and White Warbler
  2. 2. 83 - Alona Huffaker
  3. 3. 78 - Beula Hinkley
  4. 4. 74 - Bonnie Williams
    Best Birds: Harris Sparrow(1995); Long-eared Owl (1997)
  5. 5. 58 - Lois Clark
    Best Birds: Indigo Bunting, Golden-crowned Sparrow)

Utah County Life-time Feeder List
(bird species seen that are actually in your yard)

  1. 81 - Reed Stone
  2. 71 - Beula Hinkley
  3. 59 - Bonnie Williams
    Best Birds: Harris Sparrow(1995); Long-eared Owl (1997)
  4. 58 - Lois Clark
    Best Birds: Indigo Bunting, Golden-crowned Sparrow)
  5. 50 - Milton Moody
    Best Birds: White-throated Sparrow, Townsend's Warbler, Lincoln's Sparrow

*The full ATop Ten Lists@ will be on the Utah Birds Web Site.

Please send your numbers or updates to:
phone 373-2795

State Hotline Highlights


Priscilla & Steve Summers - A BLACK PHOEBE was seen along the Beaver River, in the town of Beaver, on Saturday, 06/05 (P&SS). This may be the first Beaver County record of Black Phoebe.


Phil Douglas - An EASTERN KINGBIRD was seen along the access road to Harold Crane WMA and Willard Bay SP on Tuesday, 06/08 (PD).

Cal & Sharon Andrus - A COMMON MOORHEN was seen at the southwest corner of the auto-tour loop at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge on Friday, 06/11 (C&SA). The bird was in the channel on the south side of the road. Two male BOBOLINKS have been seen in the northwest part of Brigham City, as reported on Friday, 06/11 (C&SA). They are on the west side of 800 West, about 1-2 blocks north of 900 North.

Carolyn & Mort Somer - At the sewage ponds just north of Willard Bay State Park, a pair of BLUE GROSBEAKS was seen on Friday, 06/11 (C&MSo).

Cal Robbins - A LARK BUNTING was seen northwest of Fielding, Utah on Wednesday, 06/16. The bird was along 18000 North, about 1/4 mile west of 2800 West (CR).

Roland Franz (of CA), Cathy Gill (of CA), Mark Stackhouse -Numerous GRASSHOPPER SPARROWS have been seen and heard singing in the Johnson Canyon and White's Valley area north of Tremonton. On Wednesday, 06/23, they were found near the Nucor Steel plant at the east end of Johnson Canyon, near the summit of the canyon, and at several locations in the north half of White's Valley (RF,CG,MS). On Saturday, 06/26, they were found again in the north part of White's Valley (LW).

Fall migration has already started at Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge. On Tuesday, 06/22, numerous GREATER and LESSER YELLOWLEGS, along with one BLACK-BELLIED PLOVER were seen at the refuge, and at several places along the road to the refuge (RF,CG,MS).


Cal Robbins - On Tuesday, 06/08, a pair of BLUE GROSBEAKS was seen just north of Farmington Bay WMA. The birds were along 1525 West, just north of Glover Lane (CR).

Bryant Olsen - A pair of WINTER WRENS was seen in North Canyon, east of Bountiful, on Thursday, 06/17. They were about 2.5 miles up the canyon from the parking lot, in a thicket along the stream (BO). Their behavior suggested that they may be nesting in the area.

Carol Gwynn - A PEREGRINE FALCON was seen at Farmington Bay WMA on Tuesday, 07/06, in the large dead trees south of the entrance road, after the road turns west (CG).


Mark Stackhouse, David Wheeler - A MOUNTAIN PLOVER was seen southwest of Myton on Saturday, 07/03 (MS,DW). To get to the place where the bird was seen, take 5550 West (the Nine Mile Canyon/Sandwash Boat Ramp road) south from US 40 for 6.1 miles to the Monument Butte Road, go west for about 4 miles to oil well number 44-33B. The bird was about 150 yards southwest of this well.

Two LEWIS'S WOODPECKERS were seen along US 40 west of Myton on Saturday, 07/03, one at about mile 103.3 and the other near mile 105 (MS,DW).

A PINE GROSBEAK was seen along the Mirror Lake Highway, at the turnoff to the Mirror Lake CG, on Saturday, 07/03 (MS,DW).


Dennis Shirley - A PURPLE MARTIN was seen at Fish Springs NWR on Saturday, 06/05 (DS). This is the first record of Purple Martin at Fish Springs.


Steve Hedges - A CASSIN'S SPARROW was seen during a Breeding Bird Survey in the Wah Wah Valley on Wednesday, 06/09. The bird was a male, and was observed performing its flight display and song, which suggests that it may be establishing a territory at that location (SH). To get there, take State Highway 21 west from Milford about 25 miles to the Wah Wah Ranch, which is about 1/2 mile north of the highway, and the only spot of green in the valley. Take the county road north through the ranch for 12.5 miles. The bird was 100 feet west of the road at this point. This is the first documented record of Cassin's Sparrow in Utah.

Priscilla & Steve Summers- At Kaufman Ranch, near Black Rock, two male ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAKS, a NORTHERN WATERTHRUSH, and a COMMON GRACKLE were seen on Saturday, 06/05 (P&SS).


Mark Stackhouse - An OVENBIRD was seen on Deseret Ranch, just north of Lost Creek SP on Saturday, 06/05 (MS,m.ob.).


Cal & Sharon Andrus - Four male BOBOLINKS were seen in the fields east of the road, just south of the town of Meadowville, on Monday, 06/07 (C&SA). Meadowville is located just SW of Bear Lake.


Ryan & Terry Sadler - An OVENBIRD was found on the White Pine Lake Trail in Little Cottonwood Canyon on Monday, 07/05 (R&TS). The bird was heard singing to the left of the trail about 1.75 miles from the trailhead. A cairn was placed at the point where the bird was found.

Joel & Kathy Beyer - A pair of WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKERS is again nesting in the largest of three dead trees along the shore of Lake Solitude in Big Cottonwood Canyon. They were reported on Tuesday, 07/06 (J&KB).


Richard Wilkinson - An EASTERN KINGBIRD was seen about one mile NE of Annabella on Saturday, 06/05 (RW).


Jeff Carlson, Mark Stackhouse - A LEAST FLYCATCHER was seen at the Shingle Creek Campground along the Mirror Lake Highway on Thursday, 06/10 (JC,MS). It was about 200 yards down the trail to the east of the campground, past Group Picnic Area B.

Mark Stackhouse - A pair of WILLIAMSON'S SAPSUCKERS was found nesting along the Mirror Lake Highway on Sunday, 06/13 (MS,m.obs.). They were exactly 1/2 mile past the Provo River Falls viewpoint on the west side of the highway, about 25 yards from the road in the right-hand of two dead fir trees. The nest tree leans to the right, and there is a downed tree with a split stump nearby.

Alton Thygerson - At the Lost Creek Campground, along the Mirror Lake Highway, a THREE-TOED WOODPECKER was seen on Thursday, 07/01 (AT), and again on Saturday, 07/03 (MS,DW). It was seen near campsites 6 and 7. Other birds in the campground were GRAY JAYS on 07/01 (AT), and a pair of PINE GROSBEAKS on 07/03 (MS,DW).


Rich Hoyer and others - A WHITE-RUMPED SANDPIPER was seen at Ouray NWR on Friday, 06/11, at about 6:45 pm (RH,m.obs.). The bird was about 1/4 mile south of the beginning of the Shepard Bottoms auto-tour loop, in the first of three flooded fields on the right side of the road. It was with a SNOWY PLOVER and a LEAST SANPIPER. This is the second record of White-rumped Sandpiper in Utah.

John Goodell - A NORTHERN PARULA was seen in a small grove of cottonwoods along the White River, just south of Bonanza, on Thursday, 06/17 (JG).

Mark Stackhouse, David Wheeler - At Ouray NWR, at least two LEAST BITTERNS were heard calling at the first large pond south of the observation tower along the Sheppard Bottoms auto-tour loop on Saturday, 07/03 (MS,DW).


Mike Johnson - A PURPLE MARTIN was seen along the Genola Sportsman's Access Road, at the south end of Utah Lake, on Saturday, 06/05 (MJ).

Kevin Colver, Dennis Shirley - An OVENBIRD was seen in Loafer Canyon, at the southeast corner of Utah Valley south of Salem, on Sunday, 06/13 (KC,DS). It has been seen again by many observers on Tuesday, 06/15. To get to the place, go south on 300 West in Salem, following the jogs in the road to the left, until you reach Loafer Canyon. Take the road up the canyon to the end, and then follow the trail for another 300 yards to the east, where a log in the middle of the trail marks the spot, and listen for the bird up the hill to the south.

Kevin Colver - Another NORTHERN PARULA was seen near the end of River Lane in Lake Shore on Friday, 06/18. It was near where a side road heads directly north to the lake (KC).


Dave Thompson - A RUFOUS HUMMINGBIRD was seen in the mountains east of Heber City on Sunday, 06/20 (DT).

Brian Maxfield - A COMMON LOON in basic (non-breeding) plumage was seen at the north end of Deer Creek Reservoir on Monday, 06/28 (BM).


Larry Ryel - An ELF OWL was heard calling in a large cottonwood tree at Lytle Ranch on Tuesday, 06/29 (LR). According to the ranch caretaker, the owl has been there for some time. It was in the very large, lone cottonwood about 1/4 mile north of the caretaker's house, just south of the pond, at the junction of the hillside trail and the main trail up the wash. This is the first record of Elf Owl in Utah.