Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-22

Common name:

Blue-headed Vireo

Scientific name: Vireo solitarius
Date: 9-10-04
Time: 2:00 PM
Length of time observed: 15 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Along the Santa Clara river below Gunlock Res.
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Down to 10 feet
Optical equipment: 10 X 42 B & L Elites
Weather: Mostly Clear
Light Conditions: Good
Detailed description of bird: The bird was a obvious solitary Vireo.The head was blue gray with very contrasting white eye rings and lores. The throat was white and really contrasted from the dark head with a very clean line at the malar area. The back was green and also contrasted with the dark head.The wing coverts were dark with broad pale tips that formed two strong wingbars. The primaries,secondaries and the tertials were edged greenish yellow. The center of the breast and belly were white.The sides and the flanks were strongly washed greenish yellow.The vent area was yellow. The rest of the undertail coverts were white. There was white in the tail but it was hard to tell how much. The legs were blue gray.  (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Slowly foraging around mostly staying on the larger branches in the mid level of the trees.
Habitat: Riparian habitat with cottonwoods and some willows surrounded by desert scrub.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
A bright Cassin's Vireo can be very similar but doesn't have as sharp of a contrasting throat and isn't as boldly marked as this bird was.Some of them need to be seen well to be eliminated though. Plumbeous Vireo doesn't have the bright color of this bird.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen many Blue-headed Vireos before in spring and fall. I have also seen many bright fall Cassin's.
References consulted: Sibley and Pyle
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 photos aren't the greatest but they show the sharp contrast and the color of this bird.