Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2015-39
|Scientific name:||Setophaga magnolia|
|Length of time observed:||5 minutes|
|Location:||Riverside Marsh, along the Virgin River Trail in St. George. Behind the office building at 352 E. Riverside Drive. (Exact Lat/Long = 37.0821 -113.5742)|
|Distance to bird:||Between 5 and 50 feet.|
|Optical equipment:||Zeiss Conquest HD binoculars (8x42)|
|Weather:||Clear and calm.|
|Light Conditions:||The sun was high in the sky given the time of day. Fairly bright but not overly harsh.|
|Description: Size of bird:||3-4 inches long - sparrow/warbler sized.|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||Classic small passerine|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||Yellow, white, gray, black|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||Small, somewhat thin|
Field Marks and
Yellow throat, breast, and flanks with a pale band separating the throat and
breast. Grayish, subdued streaks on the flanks. White belly, vent and undertail
coverts, with a yellowish rump. Tail feathers were white at the base with a
broad black tip - the white band was "blocky" or rectangular when seen from
below and very distinctive. Grayish head with a complete, thin white eye-ring.
No eye-stripes or other markings on the crown or auriculars. Two thin whitish
wing bars and greenish-yellow back. The bill was short and somewhat blunt (not
as sharp as orange-crowned warbler).
Many of these field marks suggest first-fall female, but the presence of streaking on the flanks seems to suggest that this could have been a male.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||No song given. Soft call given only a few times when flying between trees. Overall the bird was very quiet. There was quite a bit of construction noise coming from a new building project next to this area.|
|Behavior:||Active foraging along branches and through foliage. Short flights between branches or to other trees/shrubs. It fanned its tail a couple of times.|
|Habitat:||Overall habitat is composed of tamarisk and coyote willow with some scattered goodding's willow, seepwillow, and quail bush. This bird was only seen in tamarisk during the time I watched it.|
were they eliminated:
Yellow-rumped warbler (female)- Has a broken
eye-ring; yellow is not as extensive on the flanks; lacks the broad black tip on
the tail; duller appearance overall.
Common yellowthroat (female) - Yellow vent and throat, no wing bars, no white or black on tail.
American redstart (female) - Lacks yellow throat, gray breast and belly, yellow marks on tail feathers, eye-ring broken by black line.
Bay-breasted warbler (female) - dark eye-line, lacks white eye-ring, tail lacks black tip.
Tennessee warbler - lacks eye-ring and wing bars.
Northern parula - has a broken eye-ring with dark line, has a sharp bill with yellow lower mandible.
Blackpoll warbler (first winter female) - Lacks white eye-ring, crown is olive-colored and not gray, lacks broad black tip to tail.
Nashville warbler - has a yellow vent and an unpatterned, olive-green tail.
Vireos - none have the tail pattern seen in this bird (white base with black tip).
this & similar species:
Magnolia warbler - several seen when I lived in North Carolina, but these were
mostly spring males and it was over ten years ago so probably not applicable to
this particular bird.
Other warblers/vireos - 15 years birding experience including doing bird surveys in my capacity as a wildlife biologist for the BLM (previously with the USFS and NPS).
|References consulted:||The Warbler Guide, Sibley (1st ed.), and National Geographic (6th ed.).|
|Description from:||Notes made later|
|Observer's address:||3268 Fairway Rd., St. George, UT 84790|
|Observer's e-mail address:||**|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||None|
|Additional_Comments:||I will send a series of 8 photos (6 originals and 2 cropped). These photos are poor, since they were taken with a low-quality phone-camera, but do show some of the field marks described above.|