Verification of Unusual Sight Record
For Utah
Rec. # O_2009-01

Common name:

Summer Tanager

Scientific name: Piranga rubra
Date: 05/22/09
Time: 1000 hr.
Length of time observed: 3 minutes
Number: 1
Age: AD
Sex: M
Location: Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, housing area
County: Juab
Latilong: 9
Elevation: 4300
Distance to bird: 7-10 yards
Optical equipment: Eagle Optics Ranger PC 10X50
Weather: partly cloudy
Light Conditions: some shade as I was under a large tree
Description:        Size of bird: 8"
(Description:)       Basic Shape: robust
(Description:)  Overall Pattern: red
(Description:)            Bill Type: strong, bulky
Field Marks and
Identifying Characteristics:
Bird was very uniformly red over most of body, somewhat darker on the back, notably bulkier than our common western tangagers, bill a dull yellowish color.
(see photo)
Song or call & method of delivery:  
Behavior: Foraging on insects in russian olive tree. Was not particularly wary and allowed me to approach quite close with some cover inbetween us.
Similar species and how
were they eliminated:
Elimination: Much larger than vemillion flycatcher, no black on wings like a scarlet tanager, much more uniformly red the a hepatic tanager as well as having a yellowish bill instead of a dark bill like a hepatic.
Previous experience with
this & similar species:
I have caught mist netting and banded a firt year male here at FS. I have observed vermillion flycatchers both here at FS and many time while working at the Bill William NWR. Have observed scarlet tanagers many time in eastern US. No previous experience with hepati
References consulted: Sibley, Pyle, Stokes
Description from: From memory
Observer: Jay Banta
Observer's address: Fish Springs NWR. P.O. Box 568. Dugway, UT 84022
Observer's e-mail address:
Other observers who independently identified this bird: Bob and M.J. Dow. I had birders who came out after I put this on the hotline that saw it as well but I do not have their names.
Date prepared: 05-27-09
Additional material: Photo
Additional comments: Photo submmitted to Milt on 05-27-09