ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 164


A couple of birds with white patches on the upper side of the wings and white tips to otherwise darker tails are in this month’s quiz picture.  There are not a lot of species in the possible solution set given those two features. The list of native ABA-area species fulfilling those two requirements is quite short:  Anhinga, Common Black Hawk, Red-shouldered Hawk, Rough-legged Hawk, White-winged Dove, a few shrikes, Aztec Thrush, and Lark Bunting. All of the above non-passerine options can be tossed out immediately on overall shape and size cues, other than White-winged Dove, which is a pretty good fit to our initial, gross, selection criteria. The shrikes have longer, more-graduated tails than exhibited by our quiz birds and shouldn’t look so dark above. Aztec Thrush has a more-complex wing pattern and white uppertail coverts. Lark Bunting’s wing patch includes a lot of wing coverts other than just the primary coverts. Coming back to White-winged Dove, we can rule that species out once we’ve started paying attention to precisely where on the wings those white patches are, which is on the bases of the primaries and on the primary coverts.

With our solution set housing zero options, we must look among non-native species. Once we get there, our options quickly narrow to two mynas, Common and Crested. Differentiating these two species on this view, given the poor lighting and high ISO of the picture (producing the very grainy look), can be quite tricky. The body of the right bird seems to be at least a bit paler than does the tail, which might suggest Common. However, we can confirm that niggling suspicion by noting that the white tail tip is just too wide to be that of Crested Myna, which shows a fairly narrow tail tip from above, even narrower (or absent entirely) in juveniles, which are brownish-bodied.

I took this picture of two Common Mynas at Homestead, Miami-Dade County, Florida, on 1 March 2016.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the November 2016 Bird Photo Quiz —Common Mynas:

  1. Walker Catlett Virginia
  2. Sam Zhang Andover, MA
  3. Austin Young Pocatello, ID
  4. Bridget Spencer Vancouver, BC
  5. Claude Auchu La Pocatiere, Quebec
  6. Tonya Holland Tucson AZ
  7. Steve Juhasz Mission, BC
  8. Dennis Shepler Houston
  9. Isaiah Nugent Bellingham, WA
  10. David Rankin Moreno Valley, CA
  11. Kyle Lima Ellsworth, ME
  12. Isaac Kamloops, BC
  13. Jordan Spindel New York, NY
  14. Ryan Zucker New York, NY
  15. Blake Mathys West Mansfield, OH
  16. Jim Hully Grayslake, Illinois
  17. Danny Tipton Albuquerque, New Mexico
  18. Danny Tipton Albuquerque, New Mexico
  19. Kim Silver Spring, MD
  20. Adonis Belize Bowie, MD
  21. Augie Kramer San Mateo, CA
  22. Max Kirsch Granger, IN
  23. Ed Harper Carmichael CA
  24. Amy Darling Denver, CO
  25. Nick Dorian Medford, MA
  26. Michael David Pittsburgh
  27. Su Snyder Wooster, Ohio
  28. Tim Kalbach Dunedin, FL
  29. Joshua Covill Kalispell, MT
  30. Margaret R Barbuty Bedminster, NJ
  31. Chris Sloan Nashville, TN
  32. Joe Hildreth Grafton, WV
  33. Clifford Hawley Sacramento, CA
  34. wes serafin Orland Park,Il
  35. David Hollie Ringgold, GA
  36. Alex Coffey Los Angeles, CA
  37. Alex Hale Chicago, IL
  38. Kyle Leader Olympia
  39. Erica Rutherford Oakland, CA
  40. Robert Packard Riverside, CA
  41. Anton Mach Yardley, PA
  42. Kellen Apuna Pearl City, Hawaii
  43. Kai Shaikh Pittsburgh, PA
  44. Wim van Dam CA
  45. Josh Southern Holly Springs, NC
  46. Thomas Hall Fort Collins. CO
  47. Hallie Mason New Philadelphia
  48. David Bell Wolfville, NS

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.

White-winged Dove
Lark Bunting
Loggerhead Shrike
Crested Myna
Northern Mockingbird
Rose-breasted Grosbeak
Aztec Thrush
Northern Goshawk






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