Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2009-01c

Common name:

Rusty Blackbird

Scientific name: Euphagus carolinus
Date: 1-04-09 and1-15-09
Time: 3:30 pm on 1-04-09 and 12:30 pm and 4:00 pm om1-15-09
Length of time observed: 1 hour
Number: 1
Sex: Male
Location: Fish Springs NWR
County: Juab
Distance to bird: Varying from 200 Meters to 20 meters
Optical equipment:  
Weather: First observation was misty and foggy, second observation was clear and much closer
Light Conditions:  
Description:        Size of bird: Blackbird size
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Blackbird shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: black and brown gloss
(Description:)            Bill Type: pointed and slightly down-curved
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
A basic blackbird sized bird but slightly slimmer than Red-winged Blackbird. Blackish body with rusty brown hood extending through the upper back and mottled black and brown in the breast area. Broad,buff malar, throat and supercillium Brown or rusty edged tertials and coverts. Body showed glossy sheen, Bill sharp and slightly down-curved. Yellow eye surrounded by dark area both the lores and auriculars.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: First observation was in a bare tree at Middle springs in Fish Springs. Second observation the bird came in and out of hiding on the water's edge foraging for food
Habitat: Marsh
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Brewer's blackbird but lacks the brown-rusty combination. Also lacks rusty edged tertials,
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen two males in New York this fall.
References consulted: Sibley, National Geographic.
Description from: From memory
Observer: Terry and Pam Sadler
Observer's address: 887 Germania Ave. Murray Utah
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 01-15-09
Additional material: Photos
Additional Comments: The first sighting was difficult to identify the bird because of foggy conditions.