ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 160


Our quiz bird this month seems obviously a diurnal raptor of some sort, with its yellow cere and hooked bill.  The broad wings and extensively pale underparts should send us to the genus Buteo for our first stabs at determining an ID.  That despite the apparent white on/near the rump, which might have brought Northern Harrier to mind.  That species is ruled out by the whitish throat and the lack of distinct streaking below.  Unfortunately, a raptor showing white near the tail base does not necessarily a harrier make.  In fact, a sizable percentage of ABA-area raptor species show white in that general area in some plumage or other and/or in some situations/postures.

The reddish tail with a whitish base may well send us down the alley of the Krider’s aspect of Red-tailed Hawk, as that tail pattern is considered by some to be the definition of such.  However, that is not quite the case, as some Eastern Red-tailed Hawks (subspecies borealis) show tail coloration similar to this bird.  However, if one were to notice the barring on the “flags” – the long feathers on the upper leg (visible behind the bird’s wing), one might have had second thoughts about either krideri or borealis, as barred flags is not a character of either form of Red-tailed Hawk.  It is a character of Western Red-tailed Hawk (subspecies calurus), but that form never shows such a white base to the tail.

Hmm.  Did you notice the bird shows a fairly distinct dark eyeline?  That’s not a feature of Red-tailed Hawks, particularly of any sporting adult-appearing tails.  Since that eyeline has attracted our attention to the bird’s face, what do you think about that bright yellow gape extending under the eye?  Since we know that this is not any of the ABA-area species of eagles – due to various and sundry plumage characters, we should now have a definitive identification.

I took this picture of an adult light-morph Ferruginous Hawk at Kipps Lake, Glacier Co., MT, on 15 October 2015 (see the eBird checklist for the preceding picture of this individual).


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the July 2016 Bird Photo Quiz —Ferruginous Hawk:

  1. Tom Lally - Chicago, IL
  2. Timothy Swain - Concord, Massachusetts
  3. Isaac - Kamloops, BC
  4. Andy Eckerson - Dighton, MA
  5. Jonathan Eckerson - Dighton, MA
  6. Sam Stuart - Cranford, NJ
  7. Joshua Glant - Seattle, WA
  8. Caleb Strand - Buckeye, AZ
  9. Adriana - Delaware, OH
  10. Walker Catlett - Charlottesville, Virginia
  11. Jeffrey Kyron Hanson - Pittsfield, MA
  12. Michael Crouse - Knoxville, TN
  13. Gary Bloomfield - Arcata, CA
  14. Kyle Lima - Ellsworth, ME
  15. Martina Nordstrand - Indian Trail, NC
  16. Joseph Boros - Big Prairie, Ohio
  17. Harley Winfrey - Wheatland
  18. A. Algazzali - Hercules, CA
  19. Hiram Herrera - Chula Vista, CA
  20. Kristen Johnson - Haverford, PA
  21. Isabel Apkarian - Toronto, Ontario
  22. Peter Lane - Québec, Canada
  23. Karl Erich Mayer - Tawas City, Michigan
  24. David Hollie - Ringgold, GA
  25. Jeffrey Graham - Jacksonville, Florida
  26. Martin Sharp - AB
  27. Ken Schneider - San Francisco, CA
  28. Chris Warren - Makawao, HI
  29. Kevin Manley - Mendota Heights, MN
  30. Aiden Moser - Henniker, NH
  31. Darrel Wilder - Sun Lakes, AZ
  32. Bob Proctor - Elgin, Scotland
  33. David Tonnessen - Colorado Springs, CO
  34. Kevin Ebert - Chevy Chase, Maryland
  35. Jeremy Collison - Albany, New York
  36. Dean Shoup - Aurora, CO
  37. Claude Auchu - La Pocatiere, Quebec
  38. Bridget Spencer - Vancouver, BC
  39. Andrew Beamer - San Diego, California
  40. Elisa Yang - Mission Viejo
  41. Jack Rogers - Mt Pleasant
  42. Cole G. - Vancouver, BC
  43. Matthew Press - Sarasota, FL
  44. Nina Sitra - Sugar Land, TX
  45. Brad Hammond - Wilder, Idaho
  46. Logan Anderson - Lynchburg, Virginia
  47. Chloe Walker - Murfreesboro, TN
  48. Blake Mathys - West Mansfield, OH
  49. Andrew Theus - Columbus, GA
  50. Celestyn Brozek - Albuquerque, NM
  51. kris tyner - clearlake oaks, california
  52. Jonah Bimbo - Soviet Russia
  53. Jerald Reb - Dover, DE
  54. Abby Welch - Chapel Hill, NC
  55. Patty McKelvey - Sheffield Village, Ohio
  56. Michael David - Pittsburgh, PA
  57. Bryan Calk - Harlingen
  58. Mitch - Gainesville, FL
  59. David Buckley - Albuquerque, NM
  60. Samuel Holman - Lyle
  61. Austin Young - Twin Falls, ID
  62. Jason Vassallo - Seattle, WA
  63. Angus Pritchard - Decatur, GA
  64. Max McCarthy - Andover, MA
  65. Jason McGuire - London, ON
  66. Brian Menker - Dayton, OH
  67. Greg Zupansic - Eugene, Oregon
  68. Pam Myers - Marysville, WA 98270
  69. Ian Ruppenthal - Davidson, NC
  70. Jake Hlad - West Linn, OR
  71. Ryan Zucker - New York, NY
  72. Mark Resendes - Revere, Massachusetts
  73. Jeff Bouton - Port Charlotte, FL
  74. Ryan Zucker - New York, NY
  75. Justin Bosler - Lubbock, Texas
  76. Erica Rutherford - Oakland, CA
  77. Ed Harper - Carmichael, CA
  78. Nick Mrvelj - Portland, OR
  79. William Rockey - Esparto, CA
  80. Rosemarie Widmer - Allendale NJ
  81. Geoff Urwin - Warman, Saskatchewan
  82. Terri Everett - Big Rapids, MI
  83. Anton Mach - Yardley, PA
  84. Jackie Allison - Nipomo, California
  85. Varick Cowell - Holden, MO
  86. Dan Cowell - Holden, MO
  87. Brian E. Small - Sherman Oaks
  88. Gary Koehn - Colorado Springs, Colorado

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.

Red-tailed Hawk
Northern Harrier
Broad-winged Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Cooper's Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
White-tailed Hawk
Snail Kite


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