Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-51(R80)
(Transcribed by M. G. Moody)


Common name:

Pileated Woodpecker

Scientific name: Dryocopus pileatus
Date: 17 April, 1980
Time: 1130 to 1132
Length of time observed: [2 minutes]
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: unknown
Location: Verdure Creek - Blue Mountain Ranch - 11 miles southwest of Monticello
County: San Juan
Latilong:  
Elevation:  
Distance to bird: 50 meters to 500 meters measured by pacing from 1st sighting to place bird was last observed.
Optical equipment: 7 x 35 binoculars
Weather:  
Light Conditions: Sun overhead - sky was clear
Description:        Size of bird: ["size of a common crow"]
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type: ["indicative of a woodpecker"]
(Description:)                              
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I had just released an Abert's Squirrel & was observing some Grace's Warblers when the woodpecker flew into my view.  The bird was about the size of a common crow & the wings were wider than the body length & very broad.  The wing linings & flanks were white, belly & wing tips & tail were black. Top of the head was red, what appeared to be a crest could be observed folded back along the neck.  The beak, tail & undulating flight pattern were indicative of a woodpecker.  My angle of view was from 30 - 45 as the bird flew from southwest to northeast (I was facing south when I first saw it).
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: Woodpecker was flying in typical undulating flight about 10 meters above Ponderosa forest canopy & approximately 50 meters from me.  The bird descended to Ponderosa pine & Gambel's oak along a creek approximately 500 meters away.  Flight was from southwest to northeast.
Habitat: The woodpecker was flying over Ponderosa Pine (Pinus ponderosa) & Gambel's Oak (Quercus gambelli) & landed in the same habitat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Other woodpeckers in the area are: Common Flicker, Hairy & Downy Woodpeckers, Willimson's & Yellow-bellied Sapsuckers.  Only Williamson's Sapsucker approaches the color pattern & none are near the size of the observed woodpecker.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have experience with all of the above mentioned woodpeckers.  However this is the first experience with the Pileated.
[He lists five previous Utah Records, by other observers, from 1892 to 1956]
References consulted:  
Description from: notes made during the observation
Observer: Austin Ray Johnson
Observer's address: 575 Widtsoe Bldg., Dept. of Zoology, B.Y.U., Provo Utah 8460...
Observer's e-mail address:  
Other observers who independently identified this bird: I was in company with Jordan C. Pederson (Game Manager, Central Region, Utah Div. Wildl. Res.  1381 E. 700 S. Provo Utah 84601)  I told him about the bird but he was ...[cut off the bottom of the page when copied]...& did not see it.
Date prepared: [~ April 1980]
Additional material: Original Record
Additional comments: [Original was sent to Hugh E. Kingery, 869 Milwaukee Street, Denver, Colorado 80206]