Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-11

Common name:

Magnificent Hummingbird

Scientific name: Eugenes fulgens
Date: 06/07/2014
Time: 9:45 am
Length of time observed: about 1 minute
Number: 1
Age: immature
Sex: male
Location: Green River cut-off road from Castle Dale into San Rafael area, about mile 17 heading East from Castle Dale.
County: Emery
Latilong: 39/-110
Elevation: 6,000'
Distance to bird: about 4-5 feet
Optical equipment: naked eye
Weather: clear, sunny, about 80 degrees
Light Conditions: illuminated by full sun and looking down on bird
Description:        Size of bird: 5 inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: hummingbird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: light green, rosy triangular head
(Description:)            Bill Type: thin, long
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Relatively large hummingbird feeding on a thistle at dirt road edge, next to the side of my car. I was standing at the front right corner of my car during a 3 minute timed-bird survey for USGS BBS Route 85-162. Hummer zipped in and started feeding. I stared at it, memorizing everything I saw. Most notable was the rosy triangular head top. The rest of the bird was light green and green streaking - on mostly the bird's right breast (the part I could see). Mostly I was looking down and on the side of the bird as it fed on about a 2 foot tall thistle. It did position and re-position as it fed but mainly with the tail pointing to the south, bill feeding on thistle to its north. I was almost directly east of the bird.
Tried to focus binocs, too close, gave up and watched it feed until it flew away. Seemed not bothered or startled by me.
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: feeding on a thistle next to my car
Habitat: Low desert scrub, with numerous forbs and cacti in bloom, early June
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
I assumed it was a Violet crowned HB. I realized it might not be, once I quickly consulted the Sibley guide, as Violet crowned is not light green with green streaking on the breast. So, then I was puzzled, and thought it may be the Magnificent, but it was not all dark like the male. It looked like a female Magnificent, but had that rosy/lavender cap. Researched it once I got back to Emery Town, by looking at other guides. My best placement is the immature male Magnificent Hummingbird.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted: Sibley, Audubon, Golden, Petersen, web, Cornell web
Description from: From memory
Observer: Mary Ann Wright
Observer's address: 187 R Street
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none, was doing BBS survey alone
Date prepared: 02/16/2015
Additional material: Noted on BBS for 2014 Route 85-162
Additional_Comments: BBS Route 85-162. I was contacted by BBS USGS employee, Mikey Lutmerding, on 1/6/15. We discussed and he accepted the sighting as Eugenes fulvens. Spoke with Steve Hedges on 1/30/15, he encouraged me to submit this sighting for Utah records review.