Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-19

Common name:

Eastern Phoebe

Scientific name: Sayornis phoebe
Date: April 4, 2010
Time: 4 pm
Length of time observed: 1 hour
Number: 1
Age: adult
Location: Antelope Island State Park
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 10-20 yards
Optical equipment: Pentax 10x43 DCF SP and Nikon 10x42 Monarch binoculars
Weather: light clouds, 50 degrees
Light Conditions: fairly bright
Description:        Size of bird: 7 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: flycatcher
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: dark gray above, light below
(Description:)            Bill Type: flycatcher
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Dark cap, gray back, dark tail. Black bill, black eye, no eyering.
White chin, light underparts, slight yellow tinge to belly. Light wing bars. Smudgy gray on sides of breast. (see photo)
Song or call & method of delivery: sharp chip call
Behavior: constant tail wagging, flycatching from low branches and large rocks.
Habitat: bushy trees in sagebrush/grass
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Say's Phoebe has orange underparts, Black Phoebe has dark chin and breast. Other flycatchers have eyerings and/or distinct wing bars and/or bicolored bills. Nor do they wag their tails.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Eastern Phoebe seen in Colorado, Texas, Maine, and Ontario. Other flycatchers and phoebes seen numerous times in Utah and elsewhere.
References consulted: Sibley, NatGeo
Description from: From memory
Observer: Joel and Kathy Beyer
Observer's address: Salt Lake City, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Steve and Cindy Sommerfield, Paul Higgins, Jeff Billsky
Date prepared: May 10, 2010
Additional material: Photos