Unusual Sight Record
Utah Bird Records Committee
Received 23 Mar 2014 [There is no date on the article].
ROSE-THROATED BACARDS IN UTAH
I live in St. George, Utah. The
Virgin River runs through the valley just south of the main part of town with a
few small streams which empty into it. The Virgin and some small
tributaries are in many place lined with cottonwood trees and thick groves of
tamarisk. I love walking on the trails in this area. I am very
interested in looking for and identifying the birds I see or hear. One
morning in April 2000 while waling on the trail on the north side of the river I
suddenly stopped my friend and whispered, "Stop, look at that bird!" I
knew it was one I had never seen before. My friend, not knowing much about
birds, in an uncaring voice said, "It's just a Robin." I replied, "Oh no!
That is no Robin! It is a bird I have never seen before!"
then I explained the differences to her. Thankfully, the bird did not fly
away and I took good mental notes of the markings on it. It was smaller
than a Robin (6 or 7 inches) and more slender. The back was dark gray with
a black, slightly large head. The breast pale gray, but the most
distinguishing feature was the bright, pinkish rose of the throat and a
little onto the upper chest. That is what grabbed my attention
and I knew I had never seen that before. I was so excited I
could hardly wait to get home and look it up in my bird book. I have
PETERSON FIELD GUIDES -- WESTERN BIRDS, Third Edition. When I came to the
picture of the male Rose-throated Bacard it seemed to jump right off the page at
me. There it was! I knew that was the one, without a doubt! I
read the "range" for it and was surprised that it is so far from here, but I
definitely knew it was the bird I saw! The habitat included "river groves"
and it was in the grove of trees of the Virgin River, in some Cottonwoods, so
that was right. I also have NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC FIELD GUIDE to the BIRDS
of AMERICA. I also looked in it as it covers the whole United States, but
the Rose-throated Bacard was the only bird it could be in that one too.
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