Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2011-58

Common name:

Northern Parula

Scientific name: (Parula americana)  [Setophaga americana]
Date: October 02, 2011
Time: ~ 9:45 - 10:00 am
Length of time observed: ~ 15 minutes
Number: 1
Age: hatch-year
Location: St. George
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 875 m
Distance to bird: 3-5 m
Optical equipment: 10 x 42 binoculars
Weather:  clear and calm
Light Conditions:  
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
While watching a few Orange-crowned Warblers foraging in a tamarisk, I observed a hatch-year Northern Parula fly in. It foraged in the tamarisk and nearby Russian olive for a couple minutes before moving into a large cottonwood. I called Rob, Meribeth, and the Sommerfelds who were nearby and they arrived within 5-10 minutes. We were able to relocate and follow the parula in the cottonwood for another 10 to 15 minutes. Loosely associating with a large flock of Orange-crowned Warblers, a few Aububon s Warblers, a Townsend s Warbler, and couple Cassin s Vireos.


Relatively small warbler with a short tail and thin bill. Head and face bluish gray with dark eye, distinct white eye-arcs, and thin dark loral line extending through eye. Distinct green-olive patch on mantle, bluish gray wings, rump, and upper tail. Wings with two distinct bright white wing-bars. Bright yellow throat and upper chest and bright white belly and undertail coverts. Undertail white with dark outer edging. Bill with dark upper mandible and yellow lower mandible. Legs gray with yellow feet.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: loud distinct chip
Behavior: gleaning in tamarisks, Russian olives, and cottonwoods
Habitat: urban plantings adjacent to small creek
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
a very distinct warbler, distinguished from Tropical Parula by presence of eye arcs and yellow limited to upper chest.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from:  
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Also observed by Rob Dobbs, Meribeth Huizinga, and Steve and Cindy Sommerfeld.
Date prepared: 11-18-2011
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: information copied from field notes