Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-21

Common name:

Eastern Phoebe

Scientific name: Sayornis phoebe
Date: 9-4-04
Time: 2:30 PM
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Within 20 feet
Optical equipment: 10 X 42 B & L Elites
Weather: Clear skies
Light Conditions: Good
Detailed description of bird: Mid sized Flycatcher, head was all black except for a white throat.It's bill was black.The back was dark gray not as dark as the head.The wings were black with pale tips to the coverts forming two wingbars. The lower wingbar was brighter than the upper. The breast was dark gray,darkest on the sides. The belly and undertail coverts were pale yellow. The tail was dark.   (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Flycatching to the ground from low perches in trees. After landing it would dip it's tail and return it back up in a circular motion.
Habitat: An orchard in the middle of desert scrub habitat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
A Black Phoebe has a black throat and breast. Say's has a paler head that doesn't contrast with the throat and is orange on the belly and undertail coverts. Wood-pewees are smaller and don't drop their tails when they land.Olive-sided Flycatcher doesn't wag it's tail,has a larger bill that is mostly pale and usually perches high in trees.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen many Eastern Phoebe's in fall.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer:  Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Central, UT. 84722
Observer's e-mail address: LTRIPP29@HOTMAIL.COM
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 9-12-04   (General Public)
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: The bird was in very fresh plumage.I have never seen one in the west this early in the fall before.