- About ABA
- Explore aba.org
- Birders' Exchange
- ABA Sales
- Young Birders
- ABA Sponsors
Ick. The bird’s behind the veg. Ick. Yes, it’s behind the veg, but there are more than enough clues to get to the correct ID, and we should start with the bill. The bird’s beak is short and slightly hooked and there is a pale, yellowish area at the base, both features typical of raptors. Once among the raptors, we might be tempted to go running with this bird’s wide, white superciliary and gray cheek to go straight to Northern Goshawk without passing ‘Go’ or collecting $200. However, that super is actually too long for Northern Goshawk, as it wraps around the onto the nape, meeting the other super there. Additionally, those strong pale tips to the primaries are not a feature of Northern Goshawk, nor is the length and pointedness of that wing.
“Pointedness” you might ask, “how can you tell the wing is pointed; it’s closed!” Well, yes, but the wide spaces between the tips of each neighboring pair of primaries – and we can see six of ‘em (the inner one just barely peeks out from under the side of the longest tertial, which has a white tip of its own), indicate a rapidly tapering hand, so quite pointed. Northern Goshawk -- and all other more-rounded-winged birds -- would show more-closely-spaced primary tips, particularly toward the wingtip.
We can also just see a bit of the underparts, showing whitish with something like the suggestion of reddish streaking. The combination of these features rules out all other options but one.
I took this picture of a juvenile Mississippi Kite at Smith Point, Chambers Co., TX, on 25 August 2013.
The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the April Bird Photo Quiz—Mississippi Kite:
The following list shows the number of submissions for each species guessed.
The photo and answer for this quiz were supplied by Tony Leukering.