Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-46

Common name:

Hermit Warbler

Scientific name: Setophaga occidentalis
Date: 08-14-2014
Time: 3:00 - 5:00p
Length of time observed: various
Number: 8-15
Age: various
Sex: various
Location: Lava Point, Zion National Park
County: Washington
Latilong: 19
Elevation: ~ 2400 m
Distance to bird: various
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binoculars
Weather: clear
Light Conditions: calm
Description:        Size of bird:  
(Description:)       Basic Shape:  
(Description:)  Overall Pattern:  
(Description:)            Bill Type:  
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
I observed several Hermit Warblers in a large, loose, mixed flock in the woods just west of the Lava Point campground. The flock was spread over a few hundred meters in pine, oaks, and douglas-firs. I'm not sure exactly how many Hermit Warblers were present, but there were at least 8 or so, possibly as many as 12-15. Most were first fall / female types, however, there were a few adult males and at least one adult female present as well. No obvious hybrid traits were observed on any of the warblers observed.
Other birds loosely associated with the Lava Point mixed flock included: Downy Woodpecker, Hairy Woodpecker, Northern Flicker, Olive-sided Flycatcher, Cordilleran Flycatcher, Plumbeous Vireo, Cassin's Vireo, Steller's Jay, Mountain Chickadee, Red-breasted Nuthatch, White-breasted Nuthatch, Brown Creeper, Townsend's Solitaire, Orange-crowned Warbler, Virginia's Warbler, Yellow-rumped Warbler, Black-throated Gray Warbler, Townsend's Warbler, Chipping Sparrow, Black-headed Grosbeak, Pine Siskin, and Red Crossbill. Flock with Hermit Warblers still present on 8/15; observed with Sommerfelds.

Warblers with yellow faces, dark wings with two prominent white wingbars, and pale white underparts. Dark eye prominent on yellow face. Adult males with clean white undersides, dark backs, and large black throat patch. Immature/ female types with pale undersides, olive backs with faint streaking, and some dusky indistinct markings on sides and flanks. Faces yellow with indistinct dark markings on auriculars. Underside of tail mostly white with dark inner rectrices.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: heard occasional call note, sharp chip, reminiscent of Townsends / BT Gray.
Habitat: Ponderosa/ spruce / fir / oak forest
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Townsend s Warblers with distinct face pattern, darker crowns, and distinct streaking on undersides. Hermit x Townsend s Warbler hybrids typically show some combination of a darker auricular pattern, more extensive and distinct streaking on sides and flanks, yellow coloration on lower breast, belly, and/or flanks.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Rick Fridell
Observer's address: Hurricane, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 12-04-2015
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: description copied from field notes. Hermit Warblers are rare but regular migrants through southwestern Utah mountains from late July to early September. They should probably be considered for removal from the review list.