Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 201

Common name:

Northern Parula

Scientific name: Setophaga americana
Date: 14 May 2012
Time: 7:40 am
Length of time observed: 15 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Not sure. I first thought female out in the field because the chest necklace didn't seem as bold as I have seen on some parulas, but I am not certain.
Location: Provo Airport Dike (East side).
County: Utah
Elevation: 4500 feet
Distance to bird: 8 - 10 feet
Optical equipment: 8x43 Binoculars
Weather: Calm
Light Conditions: Sun was just rising. The bird was backlit most of the time but I got some good light on it a few times.
Description:        Size of bird: Warbler sized
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Warbler Shaped
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Blue-gray top, yellow and white below.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Small and pointy. Warbler shaped.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Blue-gray head, wings, rump and top side of tail. Green mantel. Yellow throat and chin faded to orange on upper chest then back to yellow on lower chest, creating an orangey 'necklace'. The face had a dark eye-line through the eye and white eye-arcs above and below the eye. Bill was bi-colored. Upper mandible was dark, lower mandible was yellow and matched the color of the chin and throat. Belly, undertail coverts and undertail were white. Two white wing-bars on each wing. Feet were pale.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None. It was very quiet.
Behavior: It was feeding in a clump of Tamarisk and willow, mostly sticking to the willow. It stayed in the brush and only came to the edge a few times.
Habitat: Willow and Tamarisk growing on the bank of a ditch/moat that is always full of still water and water plants. Open Farm fields to the east and airport to the west.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Elimination: Eliminated Tropical Parula by white eye-arcs
Eliminated all other warblers by bi-colored bill, face pattern, green mantel and other field marks.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have seen a few Northern Parulas. I saw one Tropical Parula many years ago. I have lots of experience with all of our common Utah warblers.
References consulted: The Sibley Guide to Birds App in field. Photos on the internet and other field guides when I got home.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Eric Huish
Observer's address: 850 E 100 N Pleasant Grove, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None that I know of yet.
Date prepared: 14 May 2012
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Interestingly this is the exact same date that KC Childs and I found a Parula on the Provo Airport Dike last year. That parula was on the west side of the airport.