Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2006-54

Common name:

Eastern Phoebe

Scientific name: Sayornis phoebe
Date: 2-12-06
Time: 10:45 AM
Length of time observed: 3 or 4 minutes
Number: 1
Location: Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Distance to bird: Within 40 feet
Optical equipment: 10x42 B and L Elites
Weather: Sunny
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Mid sized Flycatcher
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dark gray green above whitish yellow below
(Description:)            Bill Type: Flycatcher shape
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Upperparts dark olive gray.Darkest on head almost black looking.The wings were dark with faint pale edges on the coverts and the tertials.The throat was white.The sides of the breast were dusky olive.The rest of the underparts were whitish with a light yellow tint to the belly.The tail was dark.The bill was dark.

The most distingishing field mark was the droping down of the tail and bringing it back up in a circular motion like other Sayornis flycathers.
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Flycatching from low perches to the ground. And dipping the tail when it came back up to a perch. At one time it was being chased around by a Black Phoebe.
Habitat: Ranch in the middle of desert scrub habitat.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The tail behavior eliminated all other expected flycatchers except Gray and other Phoebes. Gray is much smaller along with plumage differences and bill color. Other Phoebes are easily seperated by plumage differances with good views.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen many of the above mentioned species.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Larry Tripp
Observer's address: 131 N. Butch Cassidy Trl Central, UT 84722
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Tim Avery a couple weeks later saw what was probably the same bird.
Date prepared: 10-24-06
Additional material:  
Additional comments: