Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 20-2001

Common name:

Red-throated Loon

Scientific name: Gavia stellata
Date: 11-22-01
Time: 0845
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Juvenile
Sex: ?
Location: Quail Creek Reservoir
County: Washington 
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~925 m
Distance to bird: varying from ~100 to 200 m
Optical equipment: Scope: Kowa TSN-823 , 20-60x eye
Weather: Calm, overcast, 55 degrees F 
Light Conditions: overcast but bright good light
Detailed description of bird: Pacific and Common Loons were also present. This loon was overall very pale, and appeared smaller and more slender than the other species. Head and neck color light gray, darkest on crown above eye. Head appeared small, forehead smooth in front of eye (above bill) and slightly squared at back of crown. Bill gray, fine, sharp, and very slender. White chin, throat and cheek, white extending in front between eye and bill. Eye clearly visible on face, even at great distance. Neck pale gray, darkest on back of neck gradually fading to white in front. Lower breast and belly white, visible while bird was preening. Back was light brownish gray with fine white spots.
Song or call & method of delivery: N/A
Behavior: Feeding, swimming, diving, resting on surface of water, preening. When resting, loon held head and bill slightly upturned, at ~20 angle. 
Habitat: Open water of reservoir
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Both Pacific and Common Loons were also present allowing for direct comparison.
Pacific Loon: much darker overall, with more distinctly bicolored neck (black in back, white in front), head more rounded, peaked in front of eye. Back distinctly barred rather than spotted. Less white on face, eye less visible because of black on face and head.Common Loon: darker and much larger overall, larger head and more stout bill, more bicolored neck, pale front and dark back appears jagged at nape of neck. peaked forehead, in front of eye.Grebe spp: loon had shorter neck, and larger body than grebes
Previous experience with this & similar species: It has been 10 years since I last observed a Red-throated Loon. I frequently observed wintering individuals while living in Coastal New Hampshire, 1988-1990. Extensive experience with wintering and migratory Common Loons on Quail Creek Reservoir. Have regularly observed 1-2 Pacific Loons on Quail Creek since October 29, 2001. Over the last 5 years, I also have observed occasional Pacific Loons on 
Quail Creek as well as on trips to the Pacific Coast.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds 
Description from: From: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North, Hurricane, UT 84737
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared: 11-22-01  (General Public)
Additional material:  

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