Verification of Unusual
Rec. # 2017-11
|Scientific name:||Gavia stellata|
|Length of time observed:||10 minutes|
|Location:||Quail Creek Reservoir|
|Distance to bird:||About 1 mile (4,900' according to measure tool on Google Maps)|
|Optical equipment:||20-60x82 scope|
|Weather:||Sunny and clear|
|Light Conditions:||Perfect afternoon light|
|Description: Size of bird:||Small Loon|
|(Description:) Basic Shape:||Loon|
|(Description:) Overall Pattern:||White and black|
|(Description:) Bill Type:||sharp dagger|
Field Marks and
This bird has been reported for more than a month now but no one had
submitted a record?
It had been several weeks since the last report and we spotted the bird diving on the far side with several Common Loons and Common Mergansers. The small size of the loon was obvious in relation to the much larger loon and the slightly larger mergansers. The bird was dark backed, with a dark cap in stark contrast to its white throat, neck, and face. When the bird was high on the water you could make out pale flanks as well.
Although the appearance was of an adult, I can't say for certain that it may be a 1st winter bird nearing the end of the cycle and having the more stark appearance of an adult.
The posture of this species is very unique as it sits with its head raised so its bill is pointed upward instead of flat or downward while swimming. Even at the extreme distance the base features are really unique.
|Song or call & method of delivery:||None|
|Behavior:||Swimming and Diving|
|Habitat:||Open water on deep desert reservoir|
were they eliminated:
|None. Every other species of loon is distinctly different that winter Red-throated Loon.|
this & similar species:
|Have seen several in Utah, and numerous on the coast and in the Great Lakes|
|Description from:||Notes made later|
|Observer's address:||Sandy, Utah|
|Observer's e-mail address:||**|
|Other observers who independently identified this bird:||Kenny Frisch, Nate Brown, Stephanie Greenwood, and many others over the past month.|
Terrible digiscoped photos here: