Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2008-11

Common name:

Black-throated Blue Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica caerulescens
Date: June 3, 2008
Time: 10-11 AM
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 2
Age: ?
Sex: one male, one female
Location: Uinta NF, Timpanogos Trail
County: Provo  [Utah]
Elevation: 5000+, I am unsure
Distance to bird: 20 ft.
Optical equipment: Binoculars
Weather: Sunny
Light Conditions: clear and clean
Description:        Size of bird: small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: songbird style
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Blue, Black, White underside and wing marks
(Description:)            Bill Type: short/narrow, insectivorous
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The distinctive male showed a dark blue and black topside with clear white markings on wings and underside when in flight. And then I heard it sing which sealed the deal in my mind
Song or call & method of delivery: Male sang "zheeeeew zheeeew zheeeeeee" very clearly a few times over.
Behavior: Hopping around and gleaning on a few tall trees, male with female tagging along. Male sang a few times from the mid level conifer branches.
Habitat: It was on the few conifers (Abies sp.) that were arising from an otherwise avalanche flattened aspen grove, not far from a riparian vein of snow melt
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The only other thing that came to mind were bluebirds, but its habits, its song, and it distinctive plumage helped to eliminate those possibilities. I thoroughly searched my Sibley but nothing has plumage of that style and the song was a dead on match.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have lots of experience birding in California. Warblers are always difficult for me but this one was so distinct. It was my first encounter with this particular species.
References consulted: Sibley's guide to Western Birds
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: John Moran
Observer's address: 2 El Nido Ct., Orinda, CA 94563
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: June 10th, 2008
Additional material:  
Additional Comments: This was an awesome and unexpected delight! I hope this is helpful to you all.