Utah County Birders Newsletter
March 2000

March Meeting

7:00 p.m, Wednesday, March 15th at the Bean Museum on the BYU Campus, Provo, Utah. "Birds of Australia" presented by Ned Hill.

Ned will report on his recent trip to Australia and show slides of  some of the birds he saw there.

Field Trips

March 18th
7:00 AM to mid-afternoon (3 or 4). Meet at the Bean Museum Parking lot BYU Campus, Provo, Utah. We will visits some neighboring counties or Chase a "hot bird" in the area. The field trip will be lead by Dennis Shirley.
April 1st
"April Fools Day" Times and destinations TBA

What Difference Does it Make?

by Darlene Amott

It's early morning, I'm only half awake, and I must meet the group soon. Do I just grab any old T-shirt from the shelf or do I think about what I am doing? Is it so hot I want short sleeves at all cost, or will I wear the long sleeved drab, green shirt I bought for birding? Decisions! Decisions! Does what we wear make any difference to the success or failure of a particular birding trip? I have been told that it does. 

Many years ago I indulged in a little stream fishing. Success eluded me. I was told by my "all-knowing" brother that I failed because I always wore white shirts. The shirt startled the fish and they hid. Was it true or not? Who knows. Just a year ago, I was preparing for a day of birding and quickly grabbed a T-shirt from the drawer. Most of my shirts are bought for fun and have something wild or fun (usually birds) on the front. This particular day I took one that I had purchased in Mexico. The picture included a bright Toucan and a sun. As we started walking down the trail below Jordanelle Dam, I began to be bothered by bees. My first thought was that I had used too much hair spray, but I was wearing a hat and the bees weren't buzzing my head. Then I realized they were trying to get at the bright orange-red sun on the shirt. I had to cover it up. If color fools bees and fish, could it not affect birds as well?

I have been told by top birders and have read articles that say color does matter. It is suggested that birders try to wear colors which will blend in with the scenery - greens and browns perhaps. At least we should void white or bright colors. Efforts to be as unobtrusive as possible ake camouflage the name of the game. The blinds from which birds often are viewed serve a similar purpose. Maybe that is one reason why birds tend to fly when we climb out of a car.

I have no scientific evidence to prove or disprove the color theory, but t is interesting to think about. I would like to know what your observations or experiences have been.

Robin's View

by Robin Tuck


It must be the season for travel. Reed to Mexico, Dennis back to Hawaii and Ned to Australia. Wow! And that's not all. I heard of another trip off to Southern Texas right soon. Still, I'll bet I've missed more than a few trips others in the club have taken or will shortly take.

I, even I have been off wandering away from home. Even though my trip wasn't for birding nor did it have a birding component, I looked for birds whenever I could. Julie mentioned that perhaps we could see enough birds while away from home that we could qualify for the 'outside Utah' part of the contest. That's when the reality of my own 'Utah centric' birding attitudes struck home.

I have been satisfied birding in Utah. There are more than enough places I've not been right here in my own back-yard that I've not sought for other places to go. And because of this, I don't know much about birds elsewhere. Now, I'm not completely a Utah birding bigot. I went to Arizona with Ned several years ago and visited Hawaii last year with Dennis, but these trips illustrate my difficulty. I need to do my 'outside Utah' birding with the help of other knowledgeable birders. 

Julie and I were driving through Eastern Washington and all we saw and recognized were species common to Utah. Mind you, I enjoyed the Bald Eagles and Northern Flickers, but I didn't see (that is, recognize) anything not also in Utah. Perhaps I should not feel bad though, time was not on our side and, if anything, looking in new places for new species takes lots of time or very capable guides.

I hear your stories about birding in far-away places and I get itchy feet.

Wanderlust. That's just what it is. Wanderlust.

New State and Washington County Records

Joshua Kreitzer and Rick Fridell set a new record for a "Big Day" in the month of February for both the state and for Washington County. On the 26th of February, Joshua and Rick saw 97 species total and 95 combined. The precious state record was 88 set by R. J. Adams, Kevin Johnson earlier this year on the 6th of February. 

As reported to Utah Birds:

Good birds included: Northern Shrike, Yellow-billed Loon, Cinnamon Teal, Ross's Goose, Greater White-fronted Goose, Snow Goose Canada goose, Northern Pintail, Cactus Wren, Bushtit, Juniper Titmouse, Phainopepla, Western Bluebird, many Abert's Towhees, possibly a White-throated Sparrow we didn't count, and Prairie Falcon. 

Big misses: Canyon Wren, Ring-necked Pheasant, and Burrowing Owl which had been easily located just a week before. - Joshua Kreitzer and Rick Fridell

On Our Web Site


Photos of the "Birds of Utah" by Margaret Sanchez now on the Web.

Photos of 222 species of Utah birds will soon be on the Utah Birds web site, pretty much all of them were taken by Margaret Sanchez. Visit the site and see some very interesting action shots like the American Kestrel above as well as some photos of rare birds like the Hermit Warbler and Purple Martin to name just a few.

In addition to the photographs there are links to the Breeding Bird Survey  maps and Christmas Bird Count map for most of the species and links to tips for identifying the birds.

If you have photos you've taken of some of the Utah birds that are missing from our collection, please e-mail records@utahbirds.org  or call Milton at 373-2795.