Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-23

Common name:

Chestnut-side Warbler

Scientific name: Dendroica pensylvanica
Date: May 23, 2015
Time: 08:54
Length of time observed: Approximately 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: Spring Creek Canyon, Capitol Reef NP (above confluence with Chimney Rock Canyon)
County: Wayne
Latilong: N 33.327303 W -111.263954
Elevation: 6,247 ft
Distance to bird: Approximately 30 feet
Optical equipment: Eagle Optics Ranger 10x42
Weather: Clear
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Similar to Virginia's and MacGillivray's warblers seen in the same time frame.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Wood-Warbler
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Yellow cap, white cheek bordered in black, chestnut band along sides, white underparts and throat, bold wing bars
(Description:)            Bill Type: Thin, warbler-like bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Several birds were observed in a cottonwood tree growing along the creek bed. Because they were backlit from the trail I left my pack to climb a steep bank about 12 feet high to a broad bench, which brought me fairly close to the canopy and improved the lighting conditions. I observed a warbler with yellow cap and chestnut band along the sides. Since this was not a familiar warbler from the Pacific Northwest I returned to my pack to retrieve my guidebook, which indicated a single possibility for a warbler. I returned to the vantage point at the top of the bank and got good looks at a warbler with yellow cap, white cheek bordered in black, broad chestnut band down the sides, white underparts, black back, bold wing bars, and white throat.
Song or call & method of delivery: No vocalization heard.
Behavior: Gleaning in cottonwood tree.
Habitat: Riparian.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Chestnut band along sides and yellow cap are distinctive among warblers and all field marks were consistent with this species. Yellow cap, white cheek bordered in black, and white throat eliminate Bay-breasted warbler, which itself would have been unusual.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
No previous experience. I am familiar with most western warblers and began submitting lists through ebird this year.
References consulted: National Geographic Birds of North America, Second Edition
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Scott Freeman
Observer's address: 1717 Markham Ave. NE Tacoma, WA
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: None
Date prepared: July 15, 2015
Additional material: