Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-03b

Common name:

Lawrence's Goldfinch

Scientific name: Carduelis lawrenci
Date: 03/30/07
Time: 6:15 pm
Length of time observed: 2 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: 53 Dammeron Valley Road; Dammeron Valley, Utah
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 40 feet
Optical equipment: Nikon 10x42 Binoculars and Canon Camera w/400mm lens
Weather: Sunny and Clear
Light Conditions: The bird was in the shade of a tree, otherwise it was bright out.
Description:        Size of bird: Small like a goldfinch
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Typical Carduelis, round body but with a longer tail
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Gray body, black face, yellow breast, and yellow,gray and black wings
(Description:)            Bill Type: small, pointed, pinkish-gray bill.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Very uniquely patterned bird stands out. The bird was gray over most of the body, but had a black face. The black was on the forehead and also the throat. The bird sported a yellow breast and large patches of yellow in the wings. The wings also had black in the coverts, primaries and secondaries, but the yellow overpowered everything else. The tail appeared to be black on top and white on the undertail near the base.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: Did not hear bird vocalize.
Behavior: Flew into a juniper with several Lesser Goldfinch. The bird only stayed a short time in the tree and flew away when it was approached.
Habitat: Pinyon/Juniper Woodland that was on the edge of a backyard with feeders and water features.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Both Lesser and American Goldfinch could possibly show a gray color over most of the body, but lack the yellow in coverts. More importantly neither species has black on the throat.
Can't really think of other species or anything this bird could have been confused with.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
 First time seeing this species, but have seen and heard Lesser and American Goldfinch many times.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Tim Avery
Observer's address: 1754 Garfield Avenue, Salt Lake City, Utah 84108
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Larry Tripp and Jack Binch observed the bird the next day.
Date prepared: 04/01/07
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: Additional_Comments: Here is a link to Bob Lawson's images of the bird:
And my photo: