Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-36a

Common name:

Least Tern

Scientific name: Sternula antillarum
Date: May 7, 2013
Time: 1:15 pm
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: n/a
Sex: n/a
Location: Powell Lake in Lehi, Utah
County: Utah
Latilong: n/a
Elevation: 4680 ft.
Distance to bird: 25 yards
Optical equipment: binoculars
Weather: windy
Light Conditions: clear
Description:        Size of bird: approx. 9 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: small tern
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray above, black cap, white forehead, orangish bill with dark tip
(Description:)            Bill Type: tapered bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
The bird both was seen flying, and landing on a sand bar. It was smaller than the other terns (Caspian). The black cap with the white forehead was easy to see up close. It had a long tapered bill which was orange with a dark tip. Legs were orange is color. When flying it had a deeply forked tail.
Song or call & method of delivery: n/a
Behavior: flying, and resting on a sand bar
Habitat: fresh water pond
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Common tern. Common tern lacked the white forehead, it is larger than the common tern.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
A common tern when I lived in Florida. Also seen it many times in Texas, as well as other Gulf states.
References consulted: Sibley and National Geographic
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Ned Bixler
Observer's address: 1156 N 2920 W Provo, Ut 84601
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: there were 8 other birders taking pictures
Date prepared: May 8, 2013
Additional material: