Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2003-29

Common name:

Bronzed Cowbird

Scientific name: Molothrus aeneus
Date: 5-9-03
Time: 5:30 PM
Length of time observed: About 2 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Female
Location: Red Hills Golf Course in St. George
County: Washington
Distance to bird: From 30 to 100 feet
Optical equipment: 10 x 42 B & L Elites
Weather: Mostly clear
Light Conditions: Good
Detailed description of bird: The bird was a medium sized Icterid. The upperparts were dark gray from the crown to the tail. The sides of the head and the throat were a lighter gray. The auricular area was darker gray and the bird had a red iris. The neck was very thick looking and it had a heavy looking bill. The underparts were a lighter gray color. [see photos]
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: The bird flew in and landed on a phone line. After sitting there for a minute or so it flew into a palm tree were there was a known Oriole nest. Than a male Oriole flew in from a tree behind me and went into the palm and chased the Cowbird out. It chased the Cowbird acrossed the golf course and out of sight.
Habitat: Golf Course with a variety of trees surrounded by desert scrub.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The female Brown-headed Cowbird and the female Shiny Cowbird are both browner overall. They are slimmer looking and they both have a smaller looking head and bill. They also both have dark eyes.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen several female Bronzed Cowbirds in Arizona and California.
References consulted: Sibley
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 332 Wells Fargo Rd. Brookside,Utah 84782
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Glen Barlow was with me at the time of the sighting. Several other Utah birders also saw the bird at later dates.
Date prepared: 7-23-03   (General Public)
Additional material: [Photos by Rick Fridell]
Additional comments: I also saw the bird on 5-10-03 and 5-22-03