Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2014-009
|Scientific name:||Pachyramphus aglaiae|
|Date:||April 2000 (About 5 days after I had seen the female)|
|Time:||About 7:45 A.M.|
|Length of time observed:||About 8-10 minutes (my friend wanted to continue on our walk)|
|Location:||About 7 feet high in a small cottonwood tree in a river grove of cottonwood trees and tamarisk on the north side of the Virgin River between the Convention Center and the new Post office of St. George, Utah|
|Distance to bird:||About 17 feet.|
|Optical equipment:||I didn't have my binoculars with me so it was just my eyes.|
|Weather:||A sunny morning|
|Light Conditions:||The bright sun was behind me, shining on the front of the bird, which was facing me.|
|Description: Size of bird:||6 or 7 inches|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||smaller than Robin and more slender. Larger head, think-billed|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||Dark gray back, slightly lighter gray tail, with black head, bright pinkish rose throat extending onto the upper chest, with very light gray breast.|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||Black, similar length of Tobin's but thicker|
Field Marks and
|What really grabbed my attention was the bright rose color of the neck and upper chest. The second I saw it I knew it was a bird I had never seen before. I said to the lady I was walking with, "Stop, look at that bird!" She, not knowing much about birds, in an uncaring voice said, "It's a Robin." I replied, "Oh no! That is no Robin!" then I explained the differences to her. I did not have my bird book with me, but as I always do with a bird I am not acquainted with, I took good mental notes of its marking so I could look it up in my books as soon as I got home, which I did. When I looked in the book, as soon as I turned to the page showing the Rose-throated Becard (male) it seemed to jump right off the page at me. I knew that was the species. It fit in every detail except -- they are not supposed to be in this area, but I still knew it was the one. However, in the description of the habitat, they are in "river groves" and that is where I saw it.|
|Song or call & method of delivery:||Unfortunately, it made no sound while we were there.|
|Behavior:||It made no movement as it knew we were there and was trying to remain inconspicuous.|
|Habitat:||The book says, "Wooded canyons, river groves, sycamores." All that we have of that here, where I saw it was the river groves. This was in the trees and tamarisk of the Virgin River.|
were they eliminated:
|It definitely was no Robin -- the Becard was smaller, slimmer and has a larger head. The Robin has white throat with dark stripes and a rusty-red breast where the Becard has the bright rose throat and very light gray breast. The Rose-breasted Grosbeak has a bright rose spot on the upper breast but that is lower down with a black throat and has a clear black upper back and tail with white wing bars and rump, also a thick very short pale bill.|
this & similar species:
|I never saw this species before. I have only seen the Rose-breasted Grosbeak in bird books. I have never seen any other species with that bright rose color on it.|
|References consulted:||Peterson Field Guides WESTERN BIRDS Third Edition Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston 1990 and National Geographic Field Guide to the BIRDS OF NORTH AMERICA|
Notes taken at time of sighting -- Detailed mental notes
Notes made later -- My computer had crashed at the time so I didn't add to my Life Bid List at the time. Later I got another computer and my Son-in-law got my files moved over. I finally got it added on.
From memory -- Seeing such rare birds made such an impression on me, I remember it like it was yesterday that I saw them (I saw the female Rose-throated Becard a few days before I saw the male [the account of which is detailed in the accompanying papers]).
Photo(s) taken at the time of sighting -- Unfortunately I did not have a camera with me at the time.
|Observer:||Elva Carol Musig Christian|
|Observer's address:||246 S. 500 E. St. George, UT 84770 Ph. 435 674-3560 cell 435 668-2274|
|Observer's e-mail address:||I don not have it.|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||I am not aware of any.|
|Date prepared:||March 11, 2014|
|Additional material:||I am sorry I do not have any.|
I have been interested in birds and trying to identifying the ones I see ever
since I was a child with a little book with only 55 pictures and names of
them When I was attending Dixie College in 1957 I took a class in Utah
Birds from Mr. Lorraine Woodbury. We used a FIELD GUIDE TO WESTERN
BIRDS By Roger Tory Peterson, Copyright 1941. All these years I have
kept up my interest in identifying birds and have collected other books about
them, including the birds of Hawaii and also Australia when I was there.
For qutie a number of years I helped on the annual Christmas BIRD CENSUS in
the St. George area under the able leadership of Merrill Webb of Orem Utah.
In the 1980's I was a member of the AUDUBON SOCIETY which was led by Neal
Middlebrook and the Steve Hedges of Cedar City, UT.
I have been Birding in Washington County for 48 years.
I am submitting this information to the Utah Bird Records Committee. You may use my name, publish its findings, etc.