Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-10

Common name:


Scientific name: Falco rusticolus
Date: February 11, 2015
Time: 8:17 AM
Length of time observed: 13 minutes, two different sessions with the bird
Number: 1
Age: juvenile
Location: Antelope Island Causeway, south side
Distance to bird: 200' to 1/4 mile
Optical equipment: 5oomm camera lens with 1.4 tc - 1120mm effectively
Weather: Clear and calm
Light Conditions: Full sunlight. Bird was backlit most of the time though I did get a good close look at it in flight initially
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I'm a bird photographer not a birder so I'm not great at ID but when I first spotted the bird it was close and in flight and I strongly suspected it was a very large falcon. Mia McPherson was with me (she's very good at ID) and though she didn't see it at first she eventually was quite confident that it was a Gyrfalcon. We called Jerry Liquori and he met us out on the causeway and when he saw our photos he said "there's no doubt" that it's a juvenile, gray Gyrfalcon.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: It was hunting the causeway when I spotted it but it then flew out onto the mudflats and simply perched.
Habitat: Water/mudflat mix.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Ron Dudley
Observer's address: 896 Riverbend Drive, Murray, Utah 84123
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Mia McPherson. Jerry Liquori verified the ID from our photos on site.
Date prepared: 2/11/15
Additional material: Photos  
Additional_Comments: Photos of the bird will be emailed to Milt Moody.