Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-03

Common name:

McCown's Longspur

Scientific name: Calcarius mccownii
Date: 01/17/2010
Time: 1:00 PM
Length of time observed: fifteen minutes
Number: one
Age: ?
Sex: male
Location: Bear River MBR
County: Box Elder
Distance to bird: 100 feet
Optical equipment: Swarovski 10x42 binoculars
Weather: slight fog
Light Conditions: fairly bright
Description:        Size of bird: small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: sparrow
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: grayish with a little brown
(Description:)            Bill Type: small stout similar to house finch
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
[from photo] I am not sure if this bird is transitioning from or to alternate plumage. The crown and breast patch are black. The sides are grayish and and very lightly streaked with black.

Best to see the photo. I wish it were better, but I think it shows all of the field marks.
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: feeding in field and was hidden in snow most of the time
Habitat: open snow covered field
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
See the photo. The black cap and large black breast patch are descriptive. As is the grayish coloration on the sides and white under tail.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen one other at Corrine a couple of years ago.
References consulted: Peterson A Field Guide to Western Birds, and Big Sibley. Peterson is better on this bird
Description from:  
Observer: Jack Binch
Observer's address: 1564 Crest Circle - Sandy, Utah - 84093
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none yet
Date prepared: Jan. 17, 2010
Additional material: Photo
Additional_Comments: In the description field you should have From Photo