Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2016-48

Common name:

Rusty Blackbird

Scientific name: Euphagus carolinus
Date: 12-12-2016
Time: 2:15PM
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: ?
Sex: female
Location: Buffalo Ranches pond
County: Davis
Elevation: 4200ft
Distance to bird: 50-100m
Optical equipment: Vortex 8.5 X 32 Binoculars, Canon SX50 hs Digital Camera
Weather: sunny, 40F
Light Conditions: good
Description:        Size of bird: 9inches
(Description:)       Basic Shape: typical blackbird
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: rufous and tan
(Description:)            Bill Type: Typical blackbird
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Spotted by Vivian schneggenburger, she asked me if it was a Brown-headed Cowbird, upon looking at the blackbird I noted its rufous wings and back, it then flew to the ground and I got a look at the face and breast, noted yellow eye, rusty crown, supercilium, pale throat and tanish gray breast.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None heard
Behavior: Alone in marsh grown with phragmites, a flooded muddy field and 1 Russian Olive, often perching on fence posts, at times foraging in flooded field on the ground. A male Vermilion Flycatcher was nearby, but the 2 birds were not together or interacting.
Habitat: Freshwater wetland
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Brewer's Blackbird never have rufous on the wings, or as much on the back and crown.Females usually have a dark eye and lack a pale throat and strong supercilium.

Red-winged Blackbird female superficially similar, but have a dark eye and more streaked back and breast.

Brown-headed Cowbirds have stouter bill, lack rufous and a have a dark eye.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
 I saw one in a cattle feed lot a few years back
References consulted: Sibley 2014
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 84102, SLC UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: I was with Vivian schneggenburger and Lauri Taylor. Run into Mike Hearell shortly after spotting the bird.
Date prepared: 12-12-16
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: eBird checklist: