Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah

Rec. # 2021-59

Common name:

Red Phalarope

Scientific name: Phalaropus fulicarius
Date: 10/09/2021
Time: Initial found at 9:30am, relocated at 1:30pm
Length of time observed: 30 minutes
Number: 1
Age: adult
Sex: ?
Location: Antelope Island Causeway, 2nd bridge
County: Davis
Latilong: 41.066511, -112.229589
Elevation: 4200
Distance to bird: 20m at closest
Optical equipment: Kowa spotting scope, Nikon 10x42 binoculars
Weather: overcast, scattered showers, 50F, light to moderate wind
Light Conditions: Flat light, somewhat backlit in afernoon
Description:        Size of bird: small shorebird
(Description:)       Basic Shape: stocky and plump
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: mostly white with gray back
(Description:)            Bill Type: straight and shortish
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
First bird I put eyes on looking south from 2nd bridge. Immediately noted smooth gray back, stout bill and plump thick necked posture. I watched it in the scope and photographed for 5 minutes, then crept down to the waters edge to get great up close looks and photos, very tame and accommodating. Nearby was a swimming Red-necked Phalarope giving great direct comparisons, later in afternoon a Wilson's was also nearby giving direct comparisons. Notable that this individual had no pink or yellow in the bill base, bill solid black, which is not unheard of. But the length and shape of the bill, as well as plumage, is perfect for Red.
(see photos)
Song or call & method of delivery: None for certain from this bird
Behavior: Mostly swimming on the water pecking at things on the surface and eating them, crawled up into the rocks a few times
Habitat: Out flow of Farmington Bay(freshwater) into Great Salt Lake
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Red-necked Phalarope-adults have more streaking on the back, a mixture of gray and white, not the smooth gray of this bird. Also generally slimmer with a longer, skinnier neck and a longer, thinner more needle point bill. Direct comparison.

Wilson's Phalarope-adults notably larger and longer legged, bill much longer and thinner. Lacks the black mask and nape making the face more plain looking. Direct comparison
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
Yes, many
References consulted: Memory
Description from: From photo(s) taken at the time of the sighting
Observer: Bryant Olsen
Observer's address: 84102
Observer's e-mail address: **
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Max and Mike Malmquist relocated it later that day, as did Jeff Cooper and Terry Reid
Date prepared: 10/9/21
Additional material: Photos Videos (in eBird checklist)
Additional comments: eBird checklists: and