Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-12(R82)
(Transcribed by M. G. Moody)

Common name:

Scissor-tailed Flycatcher

Scientific name: Tyrannus forficatus
Date: 06/06/82
Time: 10:00 DST
Length of time observed: 1 min
Number: 1
Age: Adult (basic plumage)
Sex: Unknown
Location: Utah Highway 60 (east side) west of Utah Lake (approx. mile post 25)
County: Utah
Distance to bird: Approx. 25 meters
Optical equipment: None (except my eyes)
Weather: Clear, wind calm, T (approx.) 15 C
Prior weather & number of days since change: A cold front had passed through Utah the previous day bringing clouds & cool weather.
Light Conditions: Bright sun - overhead & to the right
Description:        Size of bird: Approx. 35-40 cm long, probably 2/3 of it, tail.
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type: dark, about 2 cm long, thick but pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Color: Head & back were pale gray, breast & belly were white, tip of shoulder was dark salmon pink, flanks were pale salmon pink wings & tail were black.
Unique features: Pale gray color, pink at shoulder & flanks, length of tail
Field marks which were not seen. Why not? About half of the length of the tail was obscured by grease wood (Sarcobatus vermiculatus)
Variations from expected field marks: none
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: The bird was perched on a barbed wire strand of a fence on the east side of the highway & facing in toward the field.  Western Kingbirds & swallows (barn & cliff) were close by but there was no apparent interaction.
Habitat: Alfalfa field enclosed by fence & surrounded by greasewood which gradually gave way to sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata)
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Western Kingbirds were also present but their ventral areas were yellow, their dorsal areas dark gray to brown.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
1st time with this species.
Extensive experience with Western Kingbirds
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made at time of sighting
Observer: A. R. Johnson
Observer's address: 1812 Alder, Richland, WA  99352  (509) 943-6176
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Susan Johnson (at same address)
Date prepared: 08/25/82
Additional material:  
Additional comments: