Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2003-33

Common name:


Scientific name: Spiza americana
Date: 8/31/03
Time: 12:00 PM
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: 1st winter
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 50 feet
Optical equipment: 10x42 B&L Elites
Weather: Clear
Light Conditions: Good
Detailed description of bird: Large Sparrow sized bird. Brownish gray overall. There was a long very distinct pale supercilium. The throat and the submoustachial were withish. It had a dark malar stripe. The bill was pale gray colored and looked large and long for the size of the bird.The back had pale bold streaks that were very contrasting. I thought I may have
saw some rufous color on the wing coverts but it was very hard to see. The underparts were a little paler than the back and wings and there was fine streaking on the sides of the breast and flanks. There was also a yellow wash on the center of the breast. The bird was missing it's tail feathers.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Eating seeds off the tall grass in the area.
Habitat: Tall grass around a orchard with desert scrub.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
It can look similar to a few different Sparrows. But if seen well the bill size,back streaking and strong head
pattern make it pretty distinct looking.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have saw several in California.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 Butch Cassidy Trail Central, Utah
Observer's e-mail address: LTRIPP29@HOTMAIL.COM
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Rick Fridell later that day. Merrill Webb, Alton T. and I went out the next day and were also able to relocate the bird.
Date prepared: 9/16/03
Additional material:  
Additional comments: