Great Basin Naturalist


The Common Loon, White Pelican, Double-crested Cormorant, recurvirostrids, and most grebes, waterfowl, gulls, and terns have become more abundant in Uintah County, Utah, since 1937 (Twomey 1942) due to the establishment of Pelican Lake and adjacent water bodies and the ponds and marshes at Ouray National Wildlife Refuge and Pariette Wetlands Wildlife Management Area. The incidence of herons, egrets, thrushes, nuthatches, and icterids has generally remained about the same since 1937. Diurnal raptors have largely declined in abundance in the desert region of Uintah County since Twomey's (1942) study. Plovers, sandpipers, phalaropes, and the White-faced Ibis were generally less common in 1977–1982 than in 1937, perhaps chiefly due to their displacement from wintering grounds by human population expansion and agricultural and industrial development. The incidence of owl species remains constant. Most flycatchers, swallows, warblers, vireos, orioles, and emberizids have diminished in number since 1937, probably because of the shrinkage of their winter habitats in Latin America and the southwestern U.S. The Blue Grosbeak and Black-throated Sparrow were not recorded in Uintah County in 1937 but were found there during this study and may represent a range extension northward since 1937. The Blue-gray Gnatcatcher is more common now than in 1937 due to the northward extension of its range. The Starling and Rock Dove and, more recently, the Common Grackle, Great-tailed Grackle, and Cattle Egret have invaded Uintah County due to the expansion of their ranges. It is not clear why the Pine Siskin, House Finch, and most corvids are presently less common than in 1937.