Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 201

Common name:

Prothonotary Warbler

Scientific name: Protonotaria citrea
Date: 19 September 2012
Time: 8:00 am
Length of time observed: 20 Minutes total.
Number: 1
Location: Sandy Beach at the lake end of River Lane, Lake Shore, UT
County: Utah
Elevation: 4500 feet
Distance to bird: 30 feet
Optical equipment: 8x43 Binoculars, Kowa 20x60 zoom spotting scope.
Weather: Calm
Light Conditions: Sun was shinning right on the bird making it glow.
Description:        Size of bird: Warbler sized
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Warbler Shaped
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Bright yellow body, blue-gray wings, white under tail.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Thin and pointy. Warbler shaped.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The bird was brilliant yellow on the head, chest and upper belly. Face was blank with black eye. No eyering or eyeline. Undertail coverts and vent were clean bright white. Wings and top side of closed tail were flat blue-gray. No wing bars. The Mantel (between the wings) was greenish. No streaks or stripes anywhere on the body. Bill looked longer than the average warbler. Tail looked relatively shorter than the average warbler. Tail feathers were white with dark gray outer and terminal edge. Legs and feet were black.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior: Popped up out of a thick brush pile with some White-crowned Sparrows. Sat up in the sun for a minute then one of the Sparrows chased it back down into the brush. Later we spotted it again feeding about 5 feet up in a small tree. Then it flew back down and disappeared into some short brush down on the beach.
Habitat: Willows and twisted brush pile on a sand/mud beach at on the shore of Utah Lake. This spot is at the West end of a long line of riparian woodland along the Spanish Fork River.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Yellow Warbler - This bird looked heftier than a Yellow Warbler and had a larger bill. A Yellow Warbler would have yellow undertail and vent, a relatively longer tail, greenish or yellowish wings and tail. A yellow would not have white in the tail feathers.

No other warblers are this bright yellow without and streaks on the body.

American Goldfinch has a conical bill and white wingbars.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
This is only the third time I've seen a Prothonotary Warbler. I have seen thousands of Yellow Warblers.
References consulted:  The Sibley Guide to Birds App in the field.
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Eric Huish
Observer's address: 850 E 100 N Pleasant Grove, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
  KC Childs (Sept 19th), Bryan Shirley (Sept 20th), Keeli Marvel (Sept 21st)
Date prepared: 21 September 2012
Additional material: Photos