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Four New Records from Zion National Park, Utah

C. C. Presnall
2 (March-April)
From Field and Study
Online Text:

Four New Records from Zion National Park, Utah

During the past year of bird study in Zion Park, the writer has noted nineteen forms not previously reported, of which four are somewhat unusual.

Columba famiata. Band-tailed Pigeon. Three individuals seen at water-holes in the yellow-pine scrub-oak forest on Horse Pasture Plateau: two on May 6, 1934, at the ranger station spring, and one on July 1, 1934, at the Potato Hollow spring, two and one-half miles north of the ranger station. The last bird was pointed out to a sheepherder who stated that he had seen pigeons at the same place for several years. I later described the birds to Mr. Walter Beatty, cowboy guide, who then stated that he had seen a few on the plateau each summer since 1929. No nests have been seen or reported as yet. Previous records from Utah are meager. Clarence Cottam (unpublished MS, 1927) places it in a hypothetical list with the following comments : “Exceedingly rare and possibly extinct. Johnson (1879) reports it as breeding in the Salt Lake Valley. A.O.U. Check-list of 1910, and Henshaw (1915) refer to its occurrence in Utah.”

Dr. A. M. Woodbury writes me concerning the single specimen in the University of Utah collection: “. . . taken at Hanna, Duchesne County, Utah, July, 1930. It was knocked down from a flock by a hawk and picked up by a passing motorist who witnessed the performance.”

Cryptoglaux acadica. Saw-whet Owl. One specimea was taken on October 15, 1933, near the south boundary of the park (3900 feet) by Mr. E. H. Cantrell, a local taxidermist. Another individual was seen at the same time. I examined the fresh specimen and requested that it be made up as a study skin, but it was unfortunately destroyed by rats before coming into my possession. I have found no published records of this species in Utah.

Leucosticte sp.? Rosy Finch. On the morning of November 4, 1934, Mr. L. F. Keller and I noted a flock of one hundred or more birds near the west portal of the Zion-Mount Carmel Tunnel, which, by their characteristic maneuvers and call notes, were immediately recognized as Leucostictes. We unfortunatily had no means of collecting specimens, but were able to observe several at one hundred feet with B-power glasses. One of these appeared to be L. taphrocotis Uttoralis, judging by the large amount of light gray below the black frontal patch. The birds were noted at 4900 feet elevation.

Junco hyemalis. State-colored Junco. One was seen in a large flock of Shufeldt Juncos at the west boundary of the park on November 2, 1934. It was easily recognized with the unaided eye, and was then studied carefully with the binoculars. It is apparently rare as a winter visitant to this region, judging by its absence from the many flocks of shufddti which were examined last winter.

C. C. Presnall

Zion National Park, Utah, November 27, 1984

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