Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2005-37(R83)
1983 sighting resubmitted in September 2005
Information for this record is taken from a UFO sight record received 6 Apr 1983.

Common name:

Le Conte's Thrasher

Scientific name: Toxostoma lecontei
Date: 5 Mar 1983
Time: 1310
Length of time observed: 30 min.
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male in breeding plumage
Location: Beaver Dam Slope, 0.8 mi. N. of Ariz-Ut. state line & 1.2 mi. W. of Hwy 91.  T43S, R19W, sec. 26 SE 1/4
County: [Washington]
Distance to bird: 60 to 200'  estimated
Optical equipment: 7x35 binocs.  20x scope; 35 mm camera with 300mm lens
Weather: Clear, winds SW at 5 mph., 60 deg. F.;
(Prior weather:) several days of rain & wind prior to this day.
Light Conditions: good, sun to observers back
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Length of bird was approximately 10-11 inches.  Coloration of upperparts excluding tail was uniformly tan or sandy.  Underparts were lighter than upper parts - very light sandy except under tail coverts which were buffy.  Tail was quite long and slender (~ 4 inches), & light brown (much darker than back).  Bill was dark, slender, and decurved, but not as decurved as Crissal Thrasher.  Eye was dark.  Legs were dark.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: A series of musical phrases.  Lacked the repitition of notes common with Crissal thrasher.
Behavior: Bird was first observed singing from the top of a Joshua tree.  Later flew to ground and ran with tail held up at an angle: (see drawing)
Habitat: Creosote bush (Larrea tridentata) & Amborsia dumosa  with scattered Joshua trees.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Bendire's Thrasher:  coloration is darker - grayish-brown, iris is yellow, & bill is less decurved.  Underparts usually are lightly streaked.
Crissal Thrasher:  Dark brown plumage, rufous undertail coverts, yellow iris.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from:  
Observer: Steven Hedges
Observer's address: 889 S. Cedar Knolls W., Cedar City, UT  847??  Phone: 801 586-3420
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Merrill Webb  224-6113
Mark Bromley  375 - 1564
5 others
Date prepared: 8 Mar 1983
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: