Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-43

Common name:

Vaux's Swift

Scientific name: Chaetura vauxi
Date: September 22, 2006
Time: 6:30 8:00 p
Length of time observed: 30 minutes off and on
Number: 2
Age: Adults
Sex: unknown
Location: Red Hills Golf Course
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: Elevation: 2850 ft.
Distance to bird: Distance_to_Bird: 5-40 m
Optical equipment: Leica 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: clear and calm
Light Conditions: full sunshine
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Relatively small swifts with deep, quick wingbeats.
Body and wings dark grayish black overall, body torpedo shaped with no apparent neck, tapering towards rear, very short square tail. Underside of body with lighter head and throat gradually darkening towards rear, upperside of body just the opposite with dark head gradually lightening towards tail, palest on rump. Long thin wings, tapering towards wingtip. Very small bill, and dark eye.
(Note: this is the same discription copied from my field notes for Vaux's Swifts observed on September 17, 2006 at the SR-9 Sewage Ponds (2-3) and at the Red Hills Golf Course (2), these 2 were photographed at Red Hills on 9/22 and may have been the same birds observed on the 17th, however I did not go back in between these sightings).
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: flying rapidly over ponds and nearby housing area
Habitat:  flying rapidly over ponds and nearby housing area
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Chimney Swift: Eliminated by larger size, darker rump, and flight style (slower wingbeats with more gliding).
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've observed Vaux's Swifts a handful of times in Washington Co. and a few times other places.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: 3505 West 290 North, Hurricane, UT 84737
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 9-26-06
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: I also observed at least 2 Vaux's Swifts at the Red Hills Golf Course on 9-17-06, however I could not get any photos. I do not know if these were the same birds lingering at the golf course.