Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 201

Common name:


Scientific name: Seiurus aurocapillus
Date: 10/9/2012
Time: 12:30
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: unknown
Sex: unknown
Location: West of English Village, Dugway Proving Ground, Dugway, UT
County: Tooele
Latilong: 40.217684,-112.809729
Distance to bird: 5 feet
Optical equipment: Swarovski 10x42 binoculars
Weather: Mostly sunny
Light Conditions: Sunny, full light
Description:        Size of bird: Smaller than a robin. Warbler/sparrow sized.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Shaped like a warbler/songbird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Olive-brown back, white breast with heavy streaking
(Description:)            Bill Type: moderately thin, pointy
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Upper parts (including back) were very olive green/brown colored, white breast and white chin with dark heavy streaking on the breast, two central dark stripes on head with rufous patch in between stripes, conspicuous white eye ring. Bird was smaller than a robin. When I first spotted it as I pulled off the road my impression was warbler or small sparrow-sized bird. It was foraging along the ground in a manner that reminded me of a Northern Waterthrush, but it didn't have the white eye stripe of the waterthrush, and it had the two black head stripes.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: Did not sing
Behavior: It foraged along the ground the entire time, wandering/darting in between shrubs and tufts of grass. When I first spotted it, it was in the grass under a medium sized tree.
Habitat: Desert shrubs, Cheatgrass, and native grasses including Great Basin Wild Rye
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Similar species 1: Northern Waterthrush - the bird I observed has a white eye ring and not an eye stripe as you would see on a Northern Waterthrush. The bird I observed also had black stripes on its head, also not a characteristic of a waterthrush.

Similar Species 2: Thrushes - The bird I observed had black stripes on its head bordering a rufous/orange patch (not a characteristic seen in the thrushes) and was smaller than a thrush. The streaking on the breast was darker and bolder than that generally seen on a hermit thrush or Swainson's thrush.

Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have not seen an Ovenbird before, however, I have observed a Northern Waterthrush on a couple of occasions at Garr Ranch on Antelope Is. and in Utah county. I have also observed Hermit and Swainson's Thrushes on multiple occasions previously.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds and IBird Plus 6 on my Iphone.
Description from: Notes taken at time of sighting
Observer: Keeli Marvel
Observer's address: 756 E 60 S American Fork, UT 84003
Observer's e-mail address: **
Date prepared: 10/14/2012
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: Photo will follow in an email.