Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-44

Common name:

Prothonotary Warbler

Scientific name: Protonotaria citrea
Date: May 15, 2013
Time: 9:45am
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Possible female as colors were slightly muted, or duller.
Location: Back yard in large Mesquite tree over hanging a creek - SunRiver St. George Golf Course.
County: Washington
Elevation: 2500'
Distance to bird: 20'
Optical equipment: Swift Ultra lite, 8x42 binocs
Weather: 76F, sunny, calm and clear.
Light Conditions: Morning sun hitting bird over my left shoulder about 45 degr
Description:        Size of bird: Plumbeous Vireo size... larger than a Yellow Warbler, smaller than a Robin.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Long like a P. Vireo with rounded head.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: First thought to be all yellow, then noticed upper sides and tail were blue/gray. Dark eye.
(Description:)            Bill Type: Sharp, pointed.
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
At first thought it to be a Yellow Warbler and thought, "How nice." Then realized there was more. Tail was dark, back and sides were dark. Immediately thought of a Prothonotary Warbler so began observing closer to see what i could distinguish as it moved through the Mesquite tree, in and out of view. Head, chest and belly is a clean, warm yellow (not bright), no markings of any kind - dark eye. But back, wings and tail are dark - gray, but with a bluish tinge. Not black. Did not notice under tail coverts a different color, nor did I see the under tail pattern, which I noticed later in the NG Field Guide should be white. Didn't see that.
Song or call & method of delivery: N/A
Behavior: Busily foraging in Mesquite catkins, and in and out of canopy. Flew off south of position, directly away from me across golf course toward pine trees.
Habitat: Back yard against golf course. Running stream under an overhanging mature Mesquite tree. Also Mimosa tree near by. Much bird activity with 3 different feeders present.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Yellow Warbler was eliminated with it's smaller size and predominantly overall yellow coloring.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
The only other P. Warbler seen in Utah was at Tonaquint Park on October 7, 2011.
References consulted: National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
All the Birds of North America, American Bird Conservancy
NAS The Sibley Guide to Birds
Description from: [eBird report was filed May 15, 2013.]
Observer: Bill Hunter
Observer's address: 4438 S. Broadmoor Dr., St. Goerge, UT 84790
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: N/A Wife saw it, but she is not a "birder".
Date prepared: eBird report was filed May 15, 2013. This report filed at the request of Colby Neuman today, May21, 2013 and referring to notes in eBird file.
Additional material: Spent the time viewing and not chasing down a camera only to miss the whole event.
Additional_Comments: Neighbor had a White-winged Dove this afternoon. Different birds out and about this year.