Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2010-46

Common name:

Harlequin Duck

Scientific name: Histrionicus histrionicus
Date: November 2, 2010
Time: 10:45 AM
Length of time observed: 15 - 20 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: Female or Juvenile
Location: Virgin River, near La Verkin Creek confluence
County: Washington
Elevation: 3300 ft.
Distance to bird: 30 - 40 feet
Optical equipment: Nikon SLR D300, 80-400 zoom
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: sunny
Description:        Size of bird: small duck- 15-18" (?)
(Description:)       Basic Shape: typical
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: brown
(Description:)            Bill Type: small- dark
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Typical female, normal white spots on face, tail was normal, typical bill shape and color, legs and feet typical, lighter underside coloration was typical.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: N/A
Behavior: typical feeding pattern in swift current of the river.
Habitat: River, area of swift currents.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The white coloration on the face, along with its size, shape, tail, and body coloration,left no question that it was a Harlequin.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
None with Harlequin, but somewhat familiar with ducks that are common to Southern Utah.
References consulted: Sibley, Audubon
Description from: From memory
Observer: Maurice DeMille
Observer's address: 260 N MAIN, LA VERKIN, UT 84745
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: Nov. 3, 2010
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: I have 50+ photos that I took over the 15-20 minute period that I observed the bird. I believe it knew I was observing it; it was not skiddish and displayed normal behavior. I will email 3 photos to Milton Moody. Let me know if you would like additional photos, along with desired file size and format (JPEG or RAW).