Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-

Common name:

Brown Pelican

Scientific name: Pelecanus occidentalis
Date: 12 May 2004
Time: 10:30 - 11:30
Length of time observed: 20 minutes total
Number: 1
Age: immature
Sex: ?
Location: Newcastle Reservoir, south end
County: Iron
Distance to bird: 30 meters at closest
Optical equipment: Pentax 10X42 binoculars, scope
Weather: cloudy, calm
Light Conditions: shaded, and opposite the sun when out
Detailed description of bird: Large brown bird with big pelican beak. The head was all brown, as the immatures in the field guides. Lighter arcs in mid-undersides of wings, light belly.  (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Perched along shore when first observed, flew around, then landed in the water, then flew up, circled in the air currents and landed closer to the dam.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Reservoir - deep open water with rocky banksAmerican White Pelicans are white. Cormorants are smaller and darker with more slender bills.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
(Kevin) I've seen Brown Pelicans in California, Florida, and Mexico. Charlie also has much previous experience with them.
References consulted: National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Description from: From memory
Observer: Kevin Wheeler, Charlie Sheard
Observer's address: (Kevin) 455 S 1100 East #6 St. George, UT 84790
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: John Schijf
Date prepared: 12 May 2004  (General Public)
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: John Schijf reported this bird to me as the same one that had been found in Beaver City a couple weeks ago, then released in Quail Creek Reservoir. Cordell Peterson, however, informed me that the Beaver individual was an adult.