Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2004-44

Common name:

Rufous-backed Robin

Scientific name: Turdus rufopalliatus
Date: 12/18/04
Time: 8:30am - 9:00am
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: unknown
Sex: unknown
Location: Jim Trees' apple orchard, SR#9, next to Springdale Fruit Company
County: Washington
Latilong: ~37degrees14'58.69"N, 112degrees 59'1.03"W
Elevation: ~3,993 ft.
Distance to bird: 15 feet
Optical equipment: Swarovki binoculars, Sony video camera
Weather: Sunny. Clear.
Light Conditions: Bright
Detailed description of bird: Robin-sized, reddish breast, back and upper-wing coverts, white undertail coverts. White throat with fine vertical black streaking in it. Dark face. It was the only robin-like bird, although there were also Dark-eyed Juncos in the apple orchard with it.

Its markings were as though the picture in the Sibley Guide was a picture of the bird we were watching. It was unmistakable!
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: It spent time on the ground and in the apple trees as we chased it through the orchard. It was feeding on apples which had fallen on the ground. We all got numerous, excellent views.
Habitat: Apple orchard
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
American Robin, Townsend's Solitaire, Varied Thrush
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted: Sibley Bird Guide, National Geographic Bird Guide
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Kenneth Hinton, Don Hinton, Marshall Topham, Seth Topham, Todd Calico
Observer's address: 1962 Acacia Place, St. George, UT 84790
Observer's e-mail address:,
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 12/22/04   (General Public)
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: photos and video sent to Milton Moody