Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-41

Common name:

Red-throated Loon

Scientific name: Gavia stellata
Date: 11-07-07
Time: 10 minutes
Length of time observed:  
Number: 1
Age: juvenile
Sex: juvenile
Location: Otter Creek State Park
County: Piute
Latilong: 15 or 16
Elevation: 6625 ft
Distance to bird: 100 - 300 m
Optical equipment: Ziess 85t diascope (20-60x)
Weather: clear and calm
Light Conditions: full sunlight
Description:        Size of bird: Small slender loon; nearby Common Loons were almost twice the size and mass.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Small slender loon;
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: see below
(Description:)            Bill Type: straight, thin, and dagger-like
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Small slender loon; nearby Common Loons were almost twice the size and mass.

Dark upperparts (crown, nape, back, and wings) and light underparts (belly, flanks, chest). Relatively small head mostly rounded, slightly peaked to rear of eye. Small thin sharp bill, held slightly upward while swimming. Dark eye prominent on face. Head, crown, and nape grayish,
with white chin and cheek below eye, dark throat with reddish patch below chin. Dark back and wings with white speckling on scapulars.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: Swimming and diving. Held bill turned slightly upward
Habitat: long narrow reservoir
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Pacific Loon: larger with well defined dark cap extending through eye and dark nape of neck and wings lacking the dark speckling.

Common Loon: much larger and more heavily built with large stout bill with pronounced gonydeal angle
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I've studied juvenile Red-throated Loons a few times previosly, in s. Utah.
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 11-07-07
Additional material: digiscope images attached
Additional Comments: photos taken at several hundred meters through scope with Olympus Camedia 10x digital camera.