Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2017-48


Common name:

Prothonotary Warbler

Scientific name: Protonotaria citrea
Date: September 25, 2017
Time: 12:15
Length of time observed: 5 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Male
Location: North Fork Park
County: Weber
Latilong: 41 12.45" 111 '23.34
Elevation: 5,690
Distance to bird: 12 yards
Optical equipment: 8 x 42 binos
Weather: Clear and sunny, 51
Light Conditions: Excellent light. Bird in dappled shade. Observer southeast of bird.
Description:        Size of bird: Small passerine
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Small passerine, somewhat short-tailed.
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Yellow head, lower breast, belly; white undertail, visible portion of primaries slate blue
(Description:)            Bill Type: Small, narrow, sharply pointed.
(Description:)                              
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Brilliant yellow unmarked head and throat with no tints or shades. Jet black bill and eye. Upper breast through shoulder and side obscured by leaf, but lower edge of folded wing (primaries) visible under leaf; slate bluish and unmarked. Didn't see back. Lower breast/belly and sides bright yellow and unmarked; undertail coverts pure, unmarked white with clear demarcation between yellow belly and white under tail at blackish legs. Sturdy tail; under tail spot pattern white almost to distal end with outer tips of folded retrices dark.
Song or call & method of delivery: None
Behavior:  Popped up out of thick hawthorne over a stream and just above eye level while I was trying to pish up a chipping Wilson's Warbler. Stretched briefly, allowing me to see undertail color/pattern, then flew across the road in front of my vehicle and disappeared.
Habitat: Shrubby foothills with hawthorne, chokecherry, scrub-oak, mountain maple, and grassy openings. Tiny stream on both sides of road under roadside shrubbs and channeled through culvert under road. Several species bathing in stream protected by shrubs.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Yellow warbler: Has yellow undertail coverts and either greenish tones to upper parts or blurry streaks on breast. Blue-winged warbler: Has a black eye-line; reported bird's whole head was shocking yellow and unmarked, black eye appearing round. American Goldfinch males have a pale conical beak, wear a black beret and have a black wing, but are in molt now and most are looking ratty. Wilson's Warblers also have yellow undertail coverts and upperparts are greenish-brown.

No other species has the colors and patterns of body parts observed, regardless that a portion of the bird was obscured.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Utah Prothonotaries #2007-22, #2012-23, and International Center Sep 8, 2007. Extensive experience with similar species except Blue-winged Warbler.
References consulted: Sibley, Dunn and Garrett 1997.
Description from: From memory
Observer: Kristin Purdy
Observer's address: Ogden
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: September 25, 2017
Additional material:  
Additional comments: