Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2015-54

Common name:

Brown Thrasher

Scientific name: Toxostoma rufum
Date: 12-29-2015
Time: 10:00amish
Length of time observed: 10 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?
Location: Big Bend, Jordan River-West Jordan
County: Salt Lake
Elevation: 4300ft
Distance to bird: 3m
Optical equipment: Alpen 8X25 Binoculars, Canon SX 50 hs Digital Camera
Weather: Overcast, lighly snowing-25F
Light Conditions: Good
Description:        Size of bird: Large passerine
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Long tailed thrush like bird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Rusty brown upper parts, black streaks on breast
(Description:)            Bill Type: Longish, slighly decurved
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
As I was doing a monthly non-breeding survey of one of Tracy Aviaries Citizen Science Project study sites along the Jordan River, I flush up a strange bird from the river bank. Naked eye I wasn't sure what it was, seemed long tails so I was thinking a Towhee, first look in the binos I saw the rufous tail and thought Hermit Thrush, but then I got a better look and saw the entire upper parts were rusty brown. Basically a thrush sized bird thats all rusty brown above, but very long tailed. Also had 2 white wing bars and a black streaks on breast. Yellow eye and slightly decurved bill also noted.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Initially seen close to the river bank, flushed and perched in low shrubs above river, started feeding on Russian Olives, then perched out in the open allowing photos and a long good look.
Habitat: Lowland riparian corridor, grown with dense Russian Olives, a few Siberian Elms present nearby as well.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Hermit Thrush is smaller and shorter tailed, rust restricted mainly to tail, also lacks yellow eye and decurved bill

Veery-Very rare,especially in winter, but smaller,shorter tailed and lacks the wing bars, yellow eye and decurved bill

Sage Thrasher should be gone in winter, and also lack the rusty coloration
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
References consulted:  iBird Pro app
Description from: 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: Matt Pendleton and several others since
Date prepared: 12-30-2015
Additional material: Photos
Additional_Comments: eBird checklist: