Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2019-26

Common name:

Nelson's Sparrow

Scientific name: Ammospiza nelsoni
Date: 9/1/19
Time: 9:08 am
Length of time observed: 15 seconds
Number: 1
Age: Adult
Sex: Unknown
Location: Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge
County: Box Elder
Distance to bird: 20 ft
Optical equipment: 10x50 binoculars
Weather: Sunny, no wind
Light Conditions: Excellent, bird facing sun
Description:        Size of bird: Sparrow-sized
(Description:)       Basic Shape: Sparrow-shaped
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: Brown, grey and orange
(Description:)            Bill Type: Small and pointed
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
It had an orange face with a grey cheek spot, a grey central crown stripe, and a grey nape. The wings were an unmarked reddish brown and it had a striped back and flanks. The belly was white and the chest lacked any chest spots.
Song or call & method of delivery: Not vocal
Behavior: Hopping around on the ground, then flew back into the reeds.
Habitat: Marsh
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
The orange face was a key field mark to eliminate more common species, and the plain wings, grey nape, and grey head stripe were key field marks that eliminated LeConte's Sparrow.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Seen in West Virginia.
References consulted: Field guides
Description from: Notes taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Ian Batterman
Observer's address: 8538 S. Harvard Park Dr
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird:  
Date prepared: 9/1/19
Additional material:  
Additional comments: