Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-32

Common name:

Chestnut-sided Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica pensylvanica
Date: August 28, 2006
Time: About 10:30 or 11:00 A.M.
Length of time observed: 5 Minutes
Number: 1
Age: First Fall
Sex: Female?
Location: Clover Springs Campground
County: Tooele
Latilong: ?
Elevation: ?
Distance to bird: Closest view was about 30 feet
Optical equipment: 8x42 Binoculars
Weather: Clear, Calm and Sunny. ~ 75
Light Conditions:  The bird was in Full Sun for some of the viewing time. Very good lighting.
Description:        Size of bird: It was about the same size as the Chipping and Brewer's Sparrows that were in the area.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Shaped like a warbler. Similar to a Yellow Warbler.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Yellow-green upper parts. Light gray underneath.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Thin, Short and pointed. Warbler like.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Face was light gray with a yellow-green cap on the top of the head and a bold uniform white eye-ring.

The back was yellow-green from the rump up to the crown with a little green smudging on the areas of the Uppertail coverts and scapulars.

The wings were dark gray with bold wing-bars.

Tail was dark gray from above. The spread tail had white spots in the outer corners.

Chest and belly were a uniform light gray.
(See photo).

Song or call & method of delivery: I think I remember hearing chipping calls but I don t really recall.
Behavior: I first Saw the bird hopping with its tail cocked up on top of a mat of watercress that was growing at the edge of the stream where the water first comes up out of the spring. This area was out in the open with a wild rose bush a few feet away. The bird then flew across and down stream into some junipers were I was able to see the spread tail as it landed. (At this point I ran to the car for my field guide and camera). The bird then flew from the area of the junipers into a
chokecherry thicket near the top of the spring. It moved around within the chokecherry for a while. The bird did not hold the wings tight against the back but let them droop a little as it hopped around (See photo).
Habitat: Riparian. (Cottonwood, chokecherry, dogwood, rose.) Along a stream. Surrounded by hilly Pinyon and sagebrush habitat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
I can not think of any other species that are very similar to the above description.
- Yellow Warbler would not have such bold wing-bars or such a sharp contrast between yellow upperparts and gray underparts or such a bold eye-ring.
- Bay-breasted, Blackpoll and Pine Warblers would have more color in the face and underparts (not uniform gray). They would have an eyestripe and not a complete bold eye-ring.
- Nashville and Virginia s Warblers have no wing-bars and have grayer backs.
- Orange-crowned and Tennessee Warblers would not have the complete eye-ring or bold wing-bars.
- Wilson s Warbler has yellow face, chest and belly. Has no wing-bars or white spots on the tail and no eye-ring.
- Goldfinches would have yellow on their chest, a thicker bill and No bold eye-ring.
- Ruby-crowned Kinglet, Hutton s and Yellow-throated Vireos and Empidonax Flycatchers are not as yellow on the upperparts or gray on the underparts, the eye-ring is not as evenly spaced around the eye and they do not have white in the tail.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen a few adults back East but I don t recall ever seeing a first year Chestnut-sided Warbler before.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Eric Huish
Observer's address: 850 East 100 North, Pleasant Grove, Utah 84062
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None... yet.
Date prepared: August 29, 2006
Additional material: Photo
Additional comments: