Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-28

Common name:

Red Phalarope

Scientific name: Phalaropus fulicarius
Date: 09-16-2015
Time: 12:00pm
Length of time observed: 5 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult,non-breeding plumage
Sex: ?
Location: Antelope Island Causeway, Great Salt Lake
County: Davis
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: 15m
Optical equipment: Nikon 10x50 Binoculars, Canon SX50 hs Digital Camer
Weather: Overcast, raining, 60F
Light Conditions: moderate
Description:        Size of bird: Small shorebird, 8in
(Description:)       Basic Shape: typical Phalarope
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: grayish back, white under parts, black mask
(Description:)            Bill Type: Short and thin
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
what caught me eye in the field was a Phalarope that appeared paler and slightly bigger than the others it was mixed with. The photos are clear in showing this Phalarope is larger, with a thicker neck and chubbier build, it has a shorter stouter bill, rides higher on the water, and has a very clean and pale mantle with very little streaking. If view at maximum extent, the photo also shows a tiny yellow patch at the base of the lower mandible
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: feeding in the out flow of farmington bay into the great salt lake with many Red-necked Phalarope, pecking at Invertebrates on the surface of the water
Habitat: Out flow of brakish water of farminton bay into the salt water of the Great Salt Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Wilson's Phalarope are larger and lack the black eye line, and also have a very long thin bill

Red-necked Phalarope in non-breeding plumage are very similar, but slightly smaller, have a longer,thinner bill with no yellow, and much black and white streaking on the back
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
 Yes, saw one 2 weeks earlier a short distance away, and one in 2014
References consulted: 'shorebirds of North America' D. Paulson 2005. 'The Sibley Guide to Birds' D.A. Sibley 2014
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer:  Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 688 East 700 South #105, SLC, UT 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: none
Date prepared: 10-14-15
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: eBird checklist: