Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2012-52
|Scientific name:||Setophaga americana|
|Date:||18 December 2012|
|Length of time observed:||15 Minutes|
|Location:||Provo City Cemetery|
|Distance to bird:||20-45 feet. Very close at eye level for the first few moments. Way up at the top of a large pine tree most of the time.|
|Optical equipment:||8x42 Binoculars|
|Light Conditions:||Poor to okay depending where the bird was.|
|Description: Size of bird:||Small 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
Blue-gray upperparts (head, wings and tail), green patch on back (mantel),
yellow throat and chest, white belly and undertail coverts, two bold white
wingbars, white above and below eye, darkish line through eye. The white area
above the eye was a little more of a stripe than an arch so I think this may
have been a female. The yellow on the chin and throat contrasted sharply against
the gray cheeks. I only saw the bird at eye level for the first few moments of
the sighting. I didn't think to check if the bill was bicolored or look at foot
color. I really wasn't expecting to see a parula. The rest of the time the bird
was up in the canopy of a tall pine tree and I was looking almost straight up at
the bird. I could tell the lower mandible was pale but couldn't make out the
upper mandible. The bird was small for a warbler with a short tail and its body
was fluffed up against the cold. I think I glimpsed this bird the day before but
when I couldn't find it again I convinced myself that I just saw a super bright kinglet. There
were lots of kinglets around.
[I found the bird again on the 21st and got much closer and longer views.
Additional notes from Dec 21st sighting - dark upper mandible and yellow lower
mandible. Dark legs with yellow feet.]
|Song or call & method of delivery:||None that I could link to this bird. There were several other small birds with it.|
Gleaning the smaller branches and at the base of pine needle clusters in a large
long-needled pine tree. The Parula was hanging out with a mixed flock
of kinglets, nuthatches, chickadees and a Yellow-rumped Warbler. It seemed a
little more closely tied to the kinglets. I'm pretty sure I got a very brief
glimpse of this bird the day before, in with the same flock of birds.
[additional note from Dec 21st sighting - The wingtips were held slightly away from the body and were often flicked outward as the bird moved around.]
|Habitat:||City Cemetery with lots of large conifer trees. Pines, spruces, cedars, etc.|
were they eliminated:
Eliminated Tropical Parula by white around eyes.
The combination of face pattern (white above and below eye and dark eyeline), green mantel with yellow chest and throat and white belly and undertail coverts with no streaks or stripes on the chest or sides eliminated other warblers.
Eliminated Ruby-crowned Kinglets by shape, behavior, the contrast between the yellow throat against gray cheeks and the contrast between the bright yellow chest and the clean white belly.
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.|
|Description from:||Notes made later|
|Observer's address:||850 E 100 N Pleasant Grove, UT|
|Observer's e-mail address:||**|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||
It was seen later that same day by Mark Thal.
It was seen again on Dec 21st by Matt Pendleton, Eric Huish, Alton Thygerson and Merrill Webb.
|Date prepared:||19 December 2012|
|Additional_Comments:||Photos are poor. They were taken by holding my cell phone up to my binoculars. It was snowing and the lighting was bad. If I, or someone else, gets better photos I will try to added them to this record.|