Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-25b

Common name:

Blue-headed Vireo

Scientific name: Vireo solitarius
Date: September 3, 2007
Time: 9:30 AM
Length of time observed: 2 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Location: Garr Ranch, Antelope Island
County: Davis
Elevation: 4500'?
Distance to bird: 15-20 feet
Optical equipment: Pentax 10x42, Nikon 8x42
Weather: calm, hot
Light Conditions: sunny
Description:        Size of bird: 5 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: songbird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: short, blunt
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Gray bill was short and blunt. Dark eye. Strongly contrasting bold white spectacles in a dark slate-blue head. Olive back and tail, white wing bars. White chin and throat. The blue head was
distinctly separate in color from the back. Border between the head and throat was sharp. Flanks of bird had a strong yellow-green wash. Belly and undertail were white.
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: Hopping and flitting through tree branches looking for bugs.
Habitat: Riparian (mainly cottonwood trees)
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Short, blunt bill eliminates warblers. Cassin's and Plumbeous Vireo have gray, not dark slate-blue, heads. Neither do their heads strongly contrast with their backs. Cassin's Vireo does not have the distinct separation of head and neck color, nor the heavy yellow-green wash on the flanks.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Blue-headed seen a couple dozen times since 1993 in Texas, Florida, Ontario, Maine. Plumbeous and Cassin's seen yearly in Utah.
References consulted: Sibley, Nat'l Geographic
Description from: From memory
Observer: Joel and Kathy Beyer
Observer's address: 1719 Hillcrest Ave., Salt Lake City, UT 84106-3623
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: September 3, 2007
Additional material:  
Additional Comments: Could this be the same bird seen by Merrill and Tim two weeks ago? Maybe, but if so, where has it been hiding?!