Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2002-
43


Common name:

Eastern Bluebird

Scientific name: Sialia sialis
Date: 14 Dec 2002
Time: 9:40 am
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: Male
Location: East end of Logan Golf & Country Club golf course, Logan, Utah
County: Cache
Latilong: 3
Elevation: 4800'
Distance to bird: 20-50 ft
Optical equipment:  
Weather: Bright overcast, light wind, temperature ~40 F
Light Conditions: Bright overcast
Detailed description of bird: The bird was a medium sized thrush, noticeably smaller than the co-occurring American Robins, but about the same size as cedar waxwings.  The body was rather plump and the tail relatively short.  The bill was relatively short.  The back, wings head and upper tail were a rich blue color.  The eye was dark with a white crescent on the posterior part of the eye.  The throat, breast, upper belly and flanks were a rich rust color while the lower belly, posterior flanks and under tail coverts were clean white.  The rust on the underparts wrapped partly around the neck and graded into the blue of the back of the neck.  The legs were blackish.  The richness in color of this male suggests that if is of the eastern subspecies (Sialia sialis sialis).  Seen during Cache County Christmas count.  [see drawing]
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: Sat nervously in or flew between three trees.
Habitat: Scattered bare deciduous trees along a canal that runs through an otherwise open golf course.
Similar species and
how were they eliminated:
Western Bluebird:  The observed bird has a rust throat, white lower belly and undertail coverts, and no triangular rust patch on the back -- all which are distinctly not characteristics of western bluebird.
Lazuli Bunting:  The observed bird had a rust throat, thin beak, and no wing bar -- all which are distinctly not characteristics of Lazuli bunting
Previous experience with this & similar species: I have seen many Eastern bluebirds in Michigan, Minnesota and Southeastern Arizona.  I also found a female eastern bluebird in Logan Utah in 1997 about 1/4 mile from this observed male.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to birds, National Geographic field guide to birds - 4th ed.
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Ron Ryel
Observer's address: 1649 N. 1000 E., North Logan, UT  84341
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified
this bird:
Keith Archibald, Susan Drown, Jean Lown and several others on Dec. 15.
Date prepared: 14 Dec 2002
Additional material: Original Document
Additional comments: