Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-36

Common name:


Scientific name: Seiurus aurocapilla
Date: 5 Nov. 2015
Time: ~8:00am
Length of time observed: ~1 minute
Number: 1
Location: Bountiful Pond
County: Davis
Distance to bird: 10-15 feet
Optical equipment: Atlas Intrepid 10x42 binoculars
Weather: Overcast
Light Conditions: Cloudy with occasional flurries
Description:        Size of bird: Sparrow-sized (about 6 inches). Smaller than nearby hermit thrush.
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Somewhat like a "rounder" waterthrush. Similar to Hermit Thrush, but without the upright posture and with a shorter tail
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Brown and white with dark streaking
(Description:)            Bill Type: A slightly thicker warbler-like (i.e. thin, straight) bill
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
 Light brown above and white below with heavy streaking down to belly. Orange crown bordered by black stripes on both sides. Bold eye ring. No wing bars. Relatively thick bill (compared to other warblers).
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: I did not hear any calls, though Nate Brown heard call notes from the bird when he found it a day earlier.
Behavior: Walking on ground with tail slightly raised while foraging in leaf litter.
Habitat: Small strip of deciduous vegetation parallel to a canal.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Hermit Thrush and Northern Waterthrush (both of which are present in the immediate area of this Ovenbird), are similar in that they are both small, brownish birds with streaking on the chest and that are often found on the ground. However, they can easily be eliminated by their lack of an orange crown bordered by black stripes, among other field marks.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Used to live on the east coast, where I have seen many Ovenbirds (as recently as May 2015), as well as similar species such as thrushes and waterthrushes.
References consulted:  
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Michael Lester
Observer's address:  
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Nate Brown originally found this bird on the morning of 4 Nov. 2015. Since relocating the bird in the morning (11/5), others (Daniel Sachse, Shyloh Robinson, Rachel LeBlanc) have reported to eBird that they found the Ovenbird in the afternoon.
Date prepared: 6 November 2015
Additional material: Photos