Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-

Common name:

Prothonotary Warbler

Scientific name: Protonotaria citrea
Date: 7-08-05
Time: 8:00 AM
Length of time observed: On and off for over an hour
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Female
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Within 30 feet
Optical equipment: 10x 42 B & L Elites
Weather: Clear and Hot !
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Good sized Warbler
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Chunky short tailed warbler
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Yellow with blue gray wings and white undertail coverts
(Description:)            Bill Type: Good sized warbler type bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The head ( except the crown and nape ) breast,upper belly and the sides of the bird were bright yellow.The crown nape and back were greenish yellow.The wings were mostly blue gray except the upper coverts that were greenish about the same color as the back. The lower belly and the undertail coverts were white. The tail was short with the upperside about the same color as the fight feathers.I didn't get a good look at the underside of the tail.The bill was spike shaped and
large for a warbler. It had dark eyes that looked large and really stood out from the bright yellow head.I never really noticed the color of the legs. (see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: I only heard a flight call from the bird as it flew from one side of the pond to the other. A seep sounding call.
Behavior: The bird mostly was foraging around the edge of the pond and tree roots when it was in view.
Habitat: Small pond surrounded by desert scrub type habitat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The color of the wings without wingbars eliminates Blue-winged warbler. The shape, wing color and white on the underparts eliminate a Yellow.The head pattern eliminate a chat or Hooded Warbler. If seen well this is a very easy bird to ID if you have experience with it.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen a lot Prothonotary Warblers. And also the others that you could mistake this bird for with brief looks.
References consulted: Sibley, Dunn & Garrett Warblers
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Central,UT 84722
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: It was seen the next day by another birder. I'm not sure of her name.
Date prepared: 9-22-05
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: This was an odd time of year to see this bird in the desert. I wonder if it was going north,south or summering? The photos are poor but you can see enough to tell what the bird is. I'm having
a hard time this year getting good pics or any pics!