Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-31

Common name:

Magnolia Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica magnolia
Date: October 12, 2004
Time: 2:45 P.M.
Length of time observed: 5-7 minutes
Number: one
Age: adult
Sex: male
Location: Garr Ranch on Antelope Island, Gt. Salt Lake,
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 30-50 feet
Optical equipment: 10 x 30 Zeiss Binoculars
Weather: Clear
Light Conditions: Good, although most of the time the bird was in shade provided by canopy.
Detailed description of bird: Warbler sized--5 to 5.5 inches
Bright yellow underparts (breast, belly and flanks).
Pale yellow throat
Gray head with faint, white eyering
Grayish colored bill
Dark eyes
Two narrow, white wing-bars
Black streaks on yellow flanks
Olive-colored back with faint, sparse, dark streaking
White undertail coverts extending to under the tail
Black tipped undertail
Slight, white band visible in upper tail only when it flew
Dark legs
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Actively gleaned insects from leaf surfaces
Habitat: Large grove of trees with saplings of same species for understory. The bird fed in lower saplings for good side and top views, then flew to mid levels and foraged affording good views of ventral anatomy.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Upper tail was similar to Yellow-rumped Warbler in terms of white banding, but Yellow-rumbed not as brilliant yellow and gray head and back with darker streaking. Also, Yellow-rumped has blackish streaks on gray breast whereas this warbler had an all yellow breast and belly.
Townsend's Warbler has a more distinct facial marking and less yellow underneath. Also the undertail is completly white not ending in a black
Black-throated Green Warbler is more olive colored with white underparts--not yellow as in this bird I observed.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Have seen Magnolia only twice before, but most recently in Maine about two weeks ago, so I knew what to look for, especially the white undertail ending in black which no other warbler species displays. Saw many Black-throated Green Warblers on the aforementioned trip so was very familiar with their characteristics, plus have seen hundreds of Yellow-rumps and it definitely was not this one.
References consulted: Robbin's, et al "Birds of North America" (2nd. ed.) and Sibley's "Field Guide to Birds of Western North America".
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Merrill Webb
Observer's address: 1063 East 400 North Orem, Utah 84097
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: October 13, 2004   (General Public)
Additional material:  
Additional comments: none