Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2014-041

Common name:

Red-necked Grebe

Scientific name: Sphyrapicus varius
Date: December 11-13, 2013
Time: 1400
Length of time observed: 1:45 min
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: Zion Canyon, Zion National Park
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 1200 m
Distance to bird: 5-10 m
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: clear and crisp, following very cold weather
Light Conditions: clear
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Adult male Yellow-bellied Sapsucker working the pecan trees in the island of vegetation between the Zion Visitor Center parking lot and the Watchman Campground. The sapsucker worked a series of sapwells on the pecan tree near the cross walkway; he actively drilled on the main trunk for a while before visiting a series of individual sapwells, often in the same sequence. Occasionally, the sapsucker flew to large pecan tree in the middle of the patch where it tapped a few sapwells and once foraged on a remaining pecan at the top of tree. In winter 2012/2013 (December through March) Rob Dobbs and I occasionally observed and photographed a sapsucker in the same area we identified as a juvenile (first-winter) Yellow-bellied Sapsucker. The juvenile moved around a considerable area (to the back of the Watchman CG, and maybe further as it was not found on several attempts) and did not show the site fidelity of the adult.

Sapsucker with black and white uppersides, pale yellow undersides, and large white wing patch. Head with bold black and white striped pattern, white stripes very prominent. Red on front of head extending to top of crown. No red on nape, Red throat with complete black border of consistent width on top and sides and thick bold black chest patch below. Black wings with considerable white spotting. Back black with extensive pale buffy/ golden barring across back. Undersides pale buffy / yellow, brightest on center of belly, dark streaks on sides, white undertail coverts with bold black chevrons. Black and white tail with mostly black outer retrices and spotted white central retrices.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: whining typical of sapsucker sp.
Behavior: primarily working sapwells
Habitat: mostly planted trees (pecans, elms) with a few native trees (ash)
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Distinguished from male Red-naped Sapsucker by lack of red feathering on nape of neck, complete black border around red throat, more extensive white striping on face, and white feathering on nape of neck and uppersides, and extensive spotting/ barring on back tinged with buffy /yellow.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes made later
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 12-18-2014
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: description above copied from field notes.