Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2016-10

Common name:

Vaux's Swift

Scientific name: Chaetura vauxi
Date: 5-10-2016
Time: 5:30pm
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: ?
Location: Swaner Nature Center, Park City
County: Summit
Elevation: 6,300ft
Distance to bird: Less than 6 feet at closest approach
Optical equipment: Vortex 8X32 Binoculars, Canon SX50 hs Digital Camera
Weather: Sunny, breezy, 50F
Light Conditions: Excellent
Description:        Size of bird: 4.75 in
(Description:)       Basic Shape: "Cigar with wings", short stout body and tail, wings longer than body
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Brownish overall, but with distinct paler throat and rump
(Description:)            Bill Type: Tiny
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First noticed a tiny brown swift with stiff wing beats mixed with Swallows. Generally all brownish, with contrasting paler throat and rump. Very stubby tail and stout wings. Smaller and shorter winged than all swallows present, which were Tree, Barn, N. Rough-wings, Cliff and Violet-green.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none heard
Behavior: Flying continuously over a creek feeding with many Swallows, often quite low, less than 10ft of the ground, sometimes going up to 30ft.
Habitat: Wet meadows and marshland along a creek, next to large open fields, on the edge of town
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Chimney Swift is the only similar Swift, but are extremely rare east of the front range of the Rockies. From what I understand, they are larger, as large as a Violet-green Swallow, longer winged and darker, often not having the paler throat and rump. But these may all be speculative differences,except size, and range may be the biggest difference. If I'm wrong and its a Chimney Swift, that would great as it would be a lifer, so please let me know.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Yes, saw Vaux's Swifts in Mexico in Feburary
References consulted: '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: Matthew Pendleton, Vivian Schneggenburger, Nate Brown
Date prepared: 5-10-2016
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: