Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2002-

Common name:

White-tailed Kite

Scientific name: Elanus leucurus
Date: 7/12/02
Time: 11:30 am
Length of time observed: 8 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: ?
Location: Locomotive Springs WMA
County: Box Elder
Latilong: 41.6978N 112.9773W
Elevation: 4210 FT?
Distance to bird: 30 yards at first in flight then 60 yards perched
Optical equipment: Leopold spotting scope
Weather: 100+ F, calm, no clouds
Light Conditions: Bright and sunny
Detailed description of bird: White color overall with gray mantle and dark lesser coverts. Large dark eye. Small, yellow and black, sharply down-curved beak. Yellow legs. 14-18 inches head to tail.
Song or call & method of delivery: Short hawk-like squak when nervous
Behavior: Loafing on ground when first disturbed. It then flew off and perched in some greasewood.
Habitat: Tall playa with greasewood. Springs, ponds and marshes in the nearby vicinity.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Thought it was a male Northern Harrier at first but much lighter in color with highly contrasting dark shoulders. Tail was white. No band as a harrier does.
Previous experience with this & similar species: None with this species but I work as a seasonal for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources doing bird surveys of shorebirds, waterfowl, gulls, and pisciferous species
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from: From memory
Observer: John Neill
Observer's address: 2567 E Pringle Circle
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Date prepared:  7/16/02  (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: Very confident of correct indentification