Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2013-73

Common name:

Blackburnian Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica Fusca
Date: October 9, 2013
Time: 1:30 p.m.
Length of time observed: 15 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male?
Location: Lytle Ranch, Beaverdam Wash, Utah
County: Washington
Distance to bird: 15 Feet
Optical equipment: 10x40 binoculars
Weather: Clear, calm winds
Light Conditions: Bright sunshine
Description:        Size of bird: Warbler size, 5"
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Warbler, with somewhat elongated head
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Dark head and back with obvious orange-yellow throat and breast
(Description:)            Bill Type: Long, narrow, cylindrical
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
This bird was feeding in low (60") cover with a small group of Bushtits and one Townsend's Warbler. The bird was remarkable in that the overall shape was somewhat more streamlined than the Townsend's, the head was a bit flatter, and the bill seemed longer. The most striking characteristic was the definite yellow-orange throat and breast in comparison to that of the Townsend's that was close by. I also heard the bird vocalize twice as did two other birders with me who were more familiar with Blackburnian Warblers. I knew the bird was different but wasn't completely certain until I consulted three different field guides I had with me at the time, and confirmed the vocalizations heard with my birding companions and recordings of the vocalizations on I Bird Pro.
Song or call & method of delivery: A long series of very high see, see, see sounds
Behavior: Moving about feeding in cover
Habitat: Scrub brush
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
As indicated above, the bird was in the close company of a number of Bushtits, to which it bore no similarity, and one Townsend's Warbler which was similar but significantly more yellow in color on the throat and breast.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Experienced with Townsend's and Magnolia Warblers. This was my first Blackburnian.
References consulted: Sibley's Guide to Birds; Ntl. Wildlife Fed. Field Guide to Birds of North America; National Geographic Field Guide to the Birds of North America
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Douglas Mead
Observer's address: 151 W RIDGE RD, F12, SARATOGA SPRINGS, UT 84045
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Kendall Watkins, Ned Bixler, both identified the call
Date prepared: 10-16-13
Additional material: