ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 113

Answer

This month’s quiz bird is disappearing behind a pine, and we have just a moment to get any impression of field marks. What we note is a strongly bicolored upper surface to the wings and long legs. While it might help us to identify the pine, we humans have moved various pine species around the planet such that even that might not give us much of a clue. However, I don’t know that Pitch Pine is all that favored of a tree, so perhaps the picture was taken within that species’ range. Regardless, the tree species is but a minor clue, at best.

The bird’s long legs rule out nearly all ABA-area bird species, and we’re left with some herons, storks, and cranes because I think that we can rule out flamingoes. Our bird’s remiges (primaries, secondaries, tertials; singular remex) are all dark and contrast strongly with paler coverts, allowing us to eliminate the white herons, ibises (even juvenile White Ibis does not show this degree of contrast), Roseate Spoonbill, and Whooping Crane (which has white secondaries and tertials). The wing contrast brings to mind that of American Bittern of juvenile Yellow-crowned Night-Heron and those legs do project well beyond the tail tip. But the legs are just too long for even the latter species, much less the former.

While the wing contrast is strong, the pale area is not white, so we can rule out Wood Stork, leaving s with just Sandhill Crane and Great Blue and Grey herons. Leaving aside the Code 5 bird for now, how can we differentiate between Great Blue Heron and Sandhill Crane given this view? The answer is “primary coverts.” Sandhill Crane’s primary coverts are the same color as the rest of the coverts, while those of Great Blue Heron are the same color as the remiges.

So, now, how do we differentiate Great Blue and Grey herons, considering that they share wing pattern? The answer is “carefully, and not particularly definitively.” Grey Heron (and I use the British spelling because it is a bird from their sphere, not ours, so I don’t see the need to change the spelling; I certainly would not appreciate the Brits mis-spelling our various ‘Gray’ species) is a shorter and, particularly, shorter-legged beast than is Great Blue, and our bird’s leg length argues against Grey Heron. Additionally, Grey Heron typically has obvious white fringes to the greater coverts that make for a tricolored wing, rather than just bicolored. Yes, the odd Grey Heron has longer-than-typical legs and a different set of odd Grey Herons do not sport much at all of that white on the wing’s upper surface. It would take the oddest of odd Grey Herons to sport both anomalous features.

I took this picture of a Great Blue Heron at the Cox Hall Creek W. M. A. (formerly Villas W. M. A.), Cape May Co., NJ, on 11 April 2011.

~~~~~~~~

The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the August Bird Photo Quiz—Great Blue Heron:

  1. Tim Carter - Belchertown, MA
  2. Justin Jones - Phoenix, AZ
  3. Chris W - richland center, WI
  4. Adam Sell - Grayslake, IL
  5. Zach Schwartz - Weinstein Albany, NY
  6. Josh Parks - Fairbanks, AK
  7. Aspen Ellis - Ann Arbor, MI
  8. Frank Izaguirre - Pittsburgh, PA
  9. Eve Gaige - Palmyra, VA
  10. Joe Galbraith - Takoma Park, MD
  11. Michael Lester - Tucson, AZ
  12. Irvin Louque - Lake Charles, LA
  13. Robert Lockett - Oregon
  14. Lance Verderame - Livingston Manor, NY
  15. Kevin Hill - Shoreline, WA
  16. Dave Slager - Columbus, Ohio
  17. Mayn Hipp - Riverside, CT
  18. Traci Van Tine - Otter Lake, MI
  19. Claire Miller - Fair Oaks, CA
  20. Dustin Holschuh - Rock Falls,Il
  21. William Von Herff - Ottawa, Ontaio
  22. Karl Erich Mayer - Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
  23. Wes Hatch - Chagrin Falls, OH
  24. Andrew Aldrich - Aurora, IL
  25. A. Algazzal - i Hercules, Ca
  26. Sébastien Rioux - Quebec city, Qc
  27. Kyle Carlsen - Vincent, OH
  28. Wesley Greentree - Campbell River, British Columbia
  29. Ian - Bixby, OK
  30. John Hammond - Durham, NC
  31. Eric Heisey - Granger, Washington
  32. Ken Trease - Spokane, Washington
  33. Rick Poulin - Ottawa, Ontario
  34. Pamela Corwin - Charleseton, SC
  35. William Rockey - Esparto, CA
  36. Larry Therrien - Belchertown, MA
  37. Robert Packard - Riverside, CA
  38. Aaron Bilyeu - Placerville, CA
  39. logan kahle - San Francisco, CA
  40. Jimmy Warren - Schwenksville, PA
  41. Eric Plage - St. Petersburg, FL
  42. Claire Stuyck - Clemson, SC
  43. Jilly Rodriguez - Mendez Oaxaca, Mexico
  44. Eric Antonio - Martinez Oaxaca, Mexico
  45. Monica Nugent - New Westminster, B.C.
  46. Sam Manning - Omaha, NE
  47. Claude Auchu - La Pocatiere, Quebec
  48. Martin Sharp - Edmonton, Alberta
  49. Gary Woods - Fresno, CA
  50. Bob Proctor - Elgin, Scotland
  51. Marcelo Brongo - Sant Cugat del Valles, Spain
  52. Drew Malburg - Port Huron, Michigan
  53. Tom Benson - San Bernardino, CA
  54. Brian E. Small - Los Angeles, CA
  55. Dean Nicholson - Cranbrook, B.C.
  56. Bill Tarver - Friendswood, TX
  57. Peter Lane - Québec City, Canada
  58. Wayne Meyer - Denison, TX
  59. Celestyn Brozek - Albuquerque, NM
  60. Laure Neish - Penticton, BC Canada
  61. Michael Kline - Fredericksburg Va.
  62. John Shamgochian - East Providence, RI
  63. Benjamin Shamgochian - East Providence, RI
  64. Greg Prelich - New Rochelle, NY
  65. Nick Lund - Silver Spring, MD
  66. Ian Manning - Canning, NS
  67. Chris Warren - Austin, TX
  68. Xinyu Zhu - Vancouver, BC
  69. Zachary Holderby - Penobscot, ME
  70. Josh Southern - Raleigh, NC
  71. Elaine MacPherson - Sierra Madre, CA
  72. Mike Wasilco - Caledonia, NY
  73. Patty McKelvey - Sheffield Village, Ohio; USA
  74. Jim Mountjoy - Galesburg, IL
  75. John Branchflower - Portland, OR
  76. Jason McGuire - London, ON
  77. Steve Hampton - Davis, CA
  78. Deirdre Ponte - Vedra, FL
  79. David Bell - Guelph, ON
  80. Jay Powell - Macedon
  81. Olivier Barden - Québec City, Qc
  82. Susan E Evanoff - Massillon, Ohio
  83. Kim Savides - Chardon, OH
  84. Al Reyer - Bellevue, NE
  85. Philip Kline - Tucson, AZ
  86. Linda Fink - Grand Ronde, OR
  87. Claude Morris - Austin
  88. Greg Hart - Mississauga, ON
  89. Michael Cannon - Mount Prospect, IL
  90. John Rodgers - Pasadena
  91. Dave Woodson - Edmond, OK
  92. Terri Everett - Big Rapids, MI
  93. Aiden Moser - Henniker, NH
  94. Greg Schrott - Avon Park, FL
  95. James McKay - Mesa, AZ
  96. Ann Gibson - Winfield, BC
  97. Larry Kline - Fredericksburg, VA
  98. Steve Taylor - Rochester, NY
  99. Alexandre Anctil - Rimouski, Qc
  100. Pete Fenner - East Peoria, IL
  101. Aaron Gyllenhaal - Oak Park
  102. Tony Beck - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  103. Larry Langstaff - Chandler
  104. Corey Husic - Kunkletown, PA
  105. Nick Varvel - Olathe, KS
  106. Stephen Brauning - Venice
  107. SG McKemy - Palm Beach Gardens
  108. Lorene Lavora - Princeton, NJ
  109. Laurence Butler - Phoenix, AZ
  110. George F. Cresswell - Colorado Springs,
  111. Laramie Aspegren - San Jose, Costa Rica
  112. Alvan Buckley - St. John's, Newfoundland
  113. David Hollie - Ringgold, GA
  114. Barb Robertson - Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
  115. Marcia Poling - Dover, DE
  116. Joshua Hodge - Hattiesburg, MS
  117. Susan Sorensen - Islamorada, FL
  118. Thomas Ford-Hutchinson - Irvine, CA
  119. Junior Barnes - Cincinnati, Ohio
  120. Hans Bucht - Atlanta, GA
  121. Stephen Everett - Waterboro, ME
  122. Robert Doster - Chico, CA
  123. Su Snyder - Wooster, OH
  124. Karina Johnston - Sonora, Mexico
  125. Simeon Gigov - Slivnitsa, Bulgaria
  126. Greg Zupansic - Eugene, Oregon
  127. Marianne Secrest - Vancouver, BC
  128. Allison Bond - Cookeville, TN
  129. Dave Sanders - Richmond, Tx
  130. Paul-Albin Bertoye - Watertown, MA
  131. Geoff Urwin - Warman, Saskatchewan
  132. Pam Myers - Santa Cruz, CA
  133. Niko Ranta - Corvallis, Oregon
  134. Carina Graham - Escondido, CA
  135. Jason Wilder - Flagstaff, AZ
  136. tom graham - seabrook nh
  137. Graham Etherington - Norwich, UK
  138. Craig Dodson - Steamboat Springs, CO
  139. Ted Stiritz - Fayetteville, AR
  140. Vince Cavalieri - DeWitt, MI
  141. Zach Slavin - Washington, DC
  142. Mele Avery - Vancouver, BC
  143. Sam Brunson - Savannah, Georgia
  144. Ali Iyoob - Chapel Hill
  145. Blake Mathys - West Mansfield, OH
  146. Kirk Marshall - Malden, MA
  147. Joseph Miller - Nickerson, Kansas
  148. Daroczi J. Szilard - Tg.-Mures, Romania
  149. Holland Rupp - Rancho Palos Verdes, CA.
  150. Dan Altif - cresco, PA
  151. Lynne Banes - New Hebron MS
  152. Jon Crouch - Liberty, IN
  153. Terry OConnor - Indianapolis,Indiana
  154. Ben Thompson - San Juan Bautista, California
  155. Bryant Miller - Partridge



How Did You Compare?

As stated in the quiz rules, answers must consist simply of the Common or English name exactly as it appears in the ABA Checklist.

The following list shows the number of submissions for each species guessed.



Yellow-crowned Night-heron
6
Sandhill Crane
4
Snowy Egret
4
Reddish Egret
3
Little Blue Heron
3
American Bittern
3
Gray Jay
2
Gray Catbird
1
Glossy Ibis
1
Black-crowned Night-heron
1
California Condor
1
Great Horned Owl
1
Mountain Bluebird
1
Northern Goshawk
1
Northern Mockingbird
1
Red-tailed Hawk
1
Trumpeter Swan
1
Western Reef Heron
1
Wild Turkey
1
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 


~~~~~~~~

The photo and answer for this quiz were supplied by Tony Leukering.