Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2007-46a

Common name:

Pine Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica pinus
Date: 11/26/07
Time: 0945
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: first-fall
Sex: ?
Location: Location: Beaver Dam Wash, immediately south of Lytle Ranch
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~820 m
Distance to bird: 4-12 m
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 Leica ultravids
Weather: Clear and cold (temps in the 40's)
Light Conditions: Clear and sunny
Description:        Size of bird: See below
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Relatively large warbler, with long thin black bill. Dull olive upperparts, with brownish wings with two distinct off-white wingbars, and no obvious tertial or primary edging; clean unmarked
olive-yellow back; yellow-olive head with brownish-gray auricular patch and light supraloral line and yellow eye-arcs above and below the eye; yellow throat and breast extending down to sides, diffuse olive streaking on sides of upper breast and flanks; white belly and undertail coverts; relatively short primary projection but with wingtips extending beyond undertail coverts; long tail extending well beyond white undertail coverts, underside of tail mostly white with thin black border around undertail coverts and thin black edges near tip.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: Foraging rather slowly and methodically through mid to lower level of large cottonwood
Habitat: Riparian habitat along the Beaver Dam Wash
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Fall plumaged Pine Warblers can be very similar to fall Blackpoll and Bay-breasted Warblers. When Tim and I realized the warbler was in the Blackpoll / Bay-breasted / Pine group, we quickly eliminated Blackpoll by the unmarked back and face pattern. I
concentrated on observing the tail proportions and pattern as from my experience this is the best single character to distinguish Pine Warblers from the others (tail length and white undertail patches appear nearly twice as long in Pine Warbler).

Fall Blackpoll distinguished from fall Pine by presence of distinct braces on the back, distinctly marked wings with bright white tertial edgings and primary tips, long primary projection, and very short tail with long undertail coverts, and more distinctly patterned undertail (showing less white).

Fall Bay-breasted distinguished from Pine by plain face, presence of faint braces on the back and more olive upperparts, distinctly marked wings with bright wingbars and tertial edgings, clear buffy sides of breast (lacking streaks), long primary projection, and a proportionally short tail with long undertail coverts

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
First in Utah, however very familiar with Pine Warblers on their wintering range in the southeastern states. I also have observed many Pine, Bay-breasted, and Blackpoll Warblers during fall migration in the east.
References consulted: Sibley's large guide
Description from: Description is copied from field notes made following the sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Tim Avery
Date prepared: 12/01/07
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: Description is copied from field notes made following the sighting