Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2011-63

Common name:

Scarlet Tanager

Scientific name: Piranga oilivacea
Date: October 14, 2011
Time: mid-day
Length of time observed: ~ 30 min.
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: female
Location: Beck Spring, Snake Valley
County: Millard
Elevation:  ~ 1505 m
Distance to bird: 15-20 m
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: clear and slightly windy
Light Conditions: full sun
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I noticed a couple tanagers feeding in a Russian olive adjacent to Beck Spring. The first was an obvious female type Western Tanager and the second appeared a bit smaller and a touch brighter. It eventually moved up a bit and I was able to confirm the lack of wing-bars. Since we were looking into the sun we moved around to the other side of the spring and Kevin and I relocated the tanager higher in the dead branches of a large poplar tree. We watched both tanagers for a half hour or so foraging in the tops of the poplars trees, sometimes gleaning, but mostly flycatching bees, wasps, and flies.

A Piranga tanager slightly smaller appearing than the nearby Western Tanager. Olive yellow head, undersides, and uppersides; more olive on crown, back and rump, and yellower on throat, breast, and belly. Dark gray / black wings with no wingbars and relatively short, dark gray tail. Black eye with faint yellow eye-ring and gray legs. Stout yellowish bill darker across culmen and palest on lower mandible.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: see above
Habitat: Spring complex outflow and associated vegetation.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Distinguished from Western Tanager, primarily, by olive back, dark wings lacking wingbars, and white underwings.
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 Kevin Wheeler.
Date prepared: 11-20-2011
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: information copied from field notes