Saturday, August 09, 2008

Answers to Quiz

Here are my answers to Ryan's Photo Quiz. Of 38 responses he received, only 9 people got all 3 birds correct. Bird #2 provided the greatest difficulty, with fewer than half correctly identifying it as Mourning Warbler.

Bird #1: Clay-colored Sparrow

The long tail of this immature sparrow directed identification to spizella. Of them, within breeding range in Ryan's neck of the woods are Chipping, Field (sparse) and Clay-colored. Bird's gray nape somewhat noticeable. The overall warmer tones of this bird eliminated Chipping. The dark crown eliminated Field. I settled on Clay-colored Sparrow.

Bird #2: Mourning Warbler

This immature warbler was sort of tough to figure and the bird I spent the most time on with Ryan's quiz. Given overall color and pattern (gray head, yellow throat and belly), placed into consideration were Nashville Warbler, Magnolia Warbler, Canada Warbler and Mourning Warbler. I eliminated Nashville because the bird in Ryan's photograph lacks the petite and pointy vermivora shaped bill. I eliminated Canada Warbler because there just wasn't enough yellow in the supraloral area, but notice that there is some yellow there (above the bill). There seemed to be a slight hint of a necklace, but I chalked it up to feather contour. The warbler in Ryan's photo has yellow tibial feathers (upper leg) and Magnolia's (and Nashville's) are white. Then there's the broken eye-ring and stockier bill; I concluded Mourning Warbler.

Bird #3: Broad-winged Hawk

A juvenile buteo. There's a conspicuous white supercilium, streaking on the breast, and narrow-banded tail. Note the wide, dark subterminal band (end of the tail feathers) and narrow inner bands; quickly settled for Broad-winged Hawk.

© 2008 Mike McDowell

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