Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-27

Common name:

Blackpoll Warbler

Scientific name: Setophaga striata
Date:  May 3, 2017
Time: 11.45 am
Length of time observed: 10 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location:  Lytle Ranch Road
County: Washington
Latilong: 37.073862, -113.923615
Elevation: approx 2800 feet
Distance to bird: 10 feet
Optical equipment: Swift Audubon, 8.5 x 44, Extra-wide Field Binoculars
Weather: Sunny and warm approximately 80 deg F with wind about 8 mph
Light Conditions: Bright and sunny, excellent viewing conditions with sun overhead casting no shadows.
Description:        Size of bird: Small
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Warbler shape
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Black and white with some gray on back
(Description:)            Bill Type: Small, thin and pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Distinct chickadee-like head pattern of black cap and white cheeks (but no black bib)
Relatively thin bill
Black lateral throat stripe
Black and dark grey pattern on back
White wingbars
White underneath
Dark streaks on flanks
Song or call & method of delivery: Series of notes all on 1 pitch: seet-seet-seet-seet-seet-seet-seet-seet in response to playback of Scott's Oriole.
Behavior: We stopped the car and were doing playback for a Scott s Oriole (we had seen one a few years ago at this same spot) when we first noticed a Blackpoll Warbler about ten feet away who was reacting excitedly to the call. He was flitting around and calling in some low shrubbery about one foot off the ground and ten feet away from the car. We got good looks in good light for about 10 seconds and were able to make notes about the color patterns and call back from this Warbler. After several unsuccessful attempts at getting a picture he disappeared and did not return even though we waited and played back for several minutes.
Habitat: Mojave Desert
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Black-capped Chickadee. Black cap and white cheeks with a black bib, gray back and buff wash on sides. The Blackpoll Warbler has a black cap and white cheeks but lacks a black bib, its back is streaky with black and dark gray and is white underneath with black streaking on its sides.

Black-throated Gray Warbler has a strong stripey black and white face pattern with a yellow spot in front of the eye, black bib, gray upperparts, white underneath and black streaks on flanks. The Blackpoll Warbler has a black cap and white cheeks but lacks the black bib and yellow spot in front of the eye. Blackpoll's back is streaky with black and dark gray not just gray.

Black-and White Warbler has black and white stripes on the head lacking the Blackpoll s black cap and bold white cheek. Black-and White Warbler also has black spotting on the undertail coverts which the Blackpoll lacks.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
In 2016 I visited Magee Marsh, Lucas County, Ohio during spring migration and submitted the following e-bird checklists for a total of 5 Blackpoll Warbler and 2 Black-and White Warblers. These warblers were seen at close range in similar conditions to this recent sighting.

I have lots of experience in Utah with Black-capped Chickadees and Black-throated Gray Warblers since they are pretty common species.
References consulted: Sibley Guide to Birds, Stokes Field Guide to the Birds of North America, on line sources
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Rachel LeBlanc
Observer's address: Herriman, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Ron Ries
Date prepared: May 13, 2017
Additional material:  
Additional comments:  If you have any other questions please feel free to contact me.