Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2018-03

Common name:

Red Phalarope

Scientific name: Phalaropus fulicaria
Date: October 8, 2017
Time: 12:30 pm
Length of time observed: 45 minutes
Number: 1
Age: winter adult
Location: Antelope Island Causeway/marina dike
County: Davis
Elevation: 4100'
Distance to bird: 20 yards
Optical equipment: Zeiss binos
Weather: wind 20mph
Light Conditions: overcast
Description:        Size of bird: sanderling size
(Description:)       Basic Shape: wader
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: gray, white and black
(Description:)            Bill Type: thick, sandpiper-like
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Short,thick black bill. Bill thickest at base, with blunt tip.
Head white, with elongated black mark behind eye, and blackish patch going from top rear of head down to nape. Dark eye. Smooth-looking gray back and sides. Tail black above, white below. Primaries black with white edging. Breast and undersides white. Small blackish shoulder patch.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: none
Behavior: typical phalarope feeding style of swimming jerkily while pecking at water surface.
Habitat: salt water, bird riding lake swells of 2 feet alongside marina jetty.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-necked Phalarope has finer bill. Back feathers have dark centers with white edging giving the back a scaly appearance.
Wilson's Phalarope larger, has long needle-like bill. Markings on head are gray.
Sandpipers and other similar waders eliminated by lack of distinctive markings on head, coloring and feeding style.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Seen in all West Coast states, and several times over the years in Utah. Red-necked and Wilson's seen by the thousands every year in Utah.
References consulted: Sibley, Nat'l Geographic, and The Shorebird Guide.
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Kathy and Joel Beyer
Observer's address: Salt Lake City, UT
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: January 14, 2018
Additional material: Photos
Additional comments: