ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 157


A pretty basic bird this time:  black, gray, and white.  But, the fact that it is in flight adds to the difficulty factor.

Few ABA-area bird species match this bird’s simple pattern.  The small black-and-white shearwaters (such as Manx and Black-vented) can be ruled out by the quiz bird’s relatively short and broad wings and the extent of black on the head.  Both features also rule out the jaegers and terns, while the broad wings do the same for the Synthliboramphus murrelets (Ancient, Craveri’s, Guadalupe, and Scripps’s) and the color of the underside of the wings would also assist in eliminating all of the above murrelets from consideration except Craveri’s (which really should be called “Craveris’ Murrelet, since the species was named after two brothers Craveri).  Black Phoebe is easily eliminated from the possible solution set by the color of the chest, while the combo of head pattern and underparts coloration rule out the gnatcatchers.

At this point, we’re apparently left with just three kingbird options, two of which actually have “kingbird” in the name.  Fork-tailed Flycatcher can probably be ruled out on length of tail alone, though the white tip to the quiz bird’s tail make the elimination of that species from consideration a done deal.  That white tail tip would, in most ABA birders’ minds, make the ID straightforward and simple.  However, the ABA code 5 Loggerhead Kingbird also sports a white tail tip.  While our bird’s gray chest contrasting somewhat with both the white throat and belly are strongly suggestive of Eastern Kingbird, a quick look at the other end of the tail, will confirm that ID, as Loggerhead Kingbird sports a white tail base.

I photographed this Eastern Kingbird at Smith Point, Chambers Co., TX, on 23 August 2013.  See eBird checklist.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the March 2016 Bird Photo Quiz —Eastern Kingbird:

  1. Clifford Hawley - Sacramento, CA
  2. Jerald Reb - Dover, DE
  3. Conor Farrell - Charlottesville, Virginia
  4. Blake Mathys - West Mansfield, OH
  5. Karl Erich Mayer - Tawas City, Michigan
  6. Elliot Schunke - Tallahasse, FL
  7. Caleb Strand - Buckeye, AZ
  8. Ryan Andrews - Valley Center, CA
  9. Isabel Apkarian - Toronto, Ontario
  10. Chris Blazo - Chambersburg, PA
  11. Claire Thomas - Mandeville, LA, St. Tammany
  12. Isaac - Kamloops, BC
  13. Joshua - Glant Seattle, WA
  14. Peter Lane - Québec, Canada
  15. Andy Eckerson - Dighton, Massachusetts
  16. Davey Walters - MA
  17. Timothy Swain - Concord, MA
  18. Jared Parks - Church Hill, MD
  19. Robert Packard - Riverside, CA
  20. Jackie Allison - Nipomo, California
  21. Alex Wiebe - Takoma Park, MD
  22. William Rockey - Esparto, CA
  23. Ryan Zucker - New York, NY
  24. Anya Auerbach - New York
  25. Wes Hatch - Saint Simons Island
  26. David Rankin - moreno valley
  27. Brad Hammond - Wilder, Idaho
  28. Austin Young - Filer, ID
  29. Kevin Ebert - Chevy Chase
  30. Stephen Joly - Kamloops, BC
  31. SHARON FARRIS - Delaware
  32. Samuel Ewing - Gainesville
  33. Bridget - Vancouver, BC
  34. Aaron Hulsey - Smiths Grove, KY
  35. Mike Fialkovich - Pittsburgh
  36. Will Johnson - Vero Beach, FL
  37. Andrew Theus - Berrien Springs, MI
  38. Kim Silver - Spring, MD
  39. Samuel Zhang - Andover, MA
  40. thomas h graham - seabrook nh
  41. Alexander Lin-Moore - New Haven, Connecticut
  42. Eddie - Western Springs, IL
  43. Nina Sitra - Sugar Land, TX
  44. Andrew Keaveney - Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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.

Tree Swallow
Northern Rough-Winged Swallow
Purple Martin
Eastern Phoebe
Chimney Swift
Common House-Martin
Violet-green Swallow
Black Swift
Black billed Cuckoo
Grey-breasted Martin
Mangrove Swallow
Rose-breasted Grosbeak


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