ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 169


This dark bird with long wings and long and obvious fingers on the wing tip might encourage one to start on the ID process among the large, dark raptors.  Certainly, Bald and Golden eagles can present a very similar appearance to that of our quiz bird.  Despite the foreshortening, the width of the wings (front to back) seems a bit narrow for Bald Eagle (and, by extension, the other Haliaeetus eagles), though Golden Eagle might still fit.  Turkey Vulture, too, might still be in the running, though Black Vulture is probably right out, considering the apparent ratio of wing width to wing length.

Once past the immediate first thought, one might start to notice some anomalies for a raptor ID.  Such might include the apparent white marks on every leading-edge feather on the wings.  With a crisp view with a sharp binocular, one might also notice the pale bill that seems just a wee bit long for any raptor.  While one might then start thinking about cormorants, the leading-edge white marks; bill color; and, particularly, the strongly fingered look to the wing tips should rule that genus out.  While soaring cormorants can present a fingered wing-tip shape, this ‘fingered-ness’ may well be outside the range of appearance for cormorants.  Besides, the features don’t mesh with the ID as any of the Phalacrocorax.  Because the fingered wing tip rules out nearly all of the remaining large, dark, long-winged bird species of the ABA Area, there is just one option left.

I took this picture of an adult male Anhinga at Largo Nature Reserve, Pinellas County, Florida on 17 January 2017 (see the eBird checklist to see another picture of this individual).


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the April 2017 Bird Photo Quiz —Anhinga:

  1. Nick Minor - St. Paul, Minnesota
  2. Ben Shamgochian - East Providence, Rhode Island
  3. Elliot Schunke - Boca Brava, Panama
  4. Timothy Swain - Concord, Massachusetts
  5. Karl Erich Mayer - Tawas City, Michigan
  6. Kyle Lima - Ellsworth, ME
  7. Andy Eckerson - Dighton, MA
  8. Cole G. - Vancouver, BC
  9. Ryan Zucker - New York, NY
  10. Nick Dorian - Medford, MA
  11. Jonathan Frodge - Cincinnati, OH
  12. Nick Barber - Sycamore, IL
  13. Jim Hully - Grayslake, IL
  14. Matthew Press - Sarasota, FL
  15. Bridget Spencer - Vancouver, BC
  16. Chris Warren - Makawao, HI
  17. Robert Lockett - Portland, Oregon
  18. Walker Catlett - Charlottesville, VA
  19. Malcolm Gold - Overland Park, KS
  20. Madeline Alfieri - Bath
  21. Isabel Apkarian - Toronto, Ontario
  22. Jason Vassallo - Seattle
  23. Joshua Glant - Seattle, WA
  24. Isaac - Kamloops, BC
  25. Shane Brown - Granville, OH
  26. Danny Tipton - Albuquerque, NM
  27. Willy Hutcheson - Concord, MA
  28. Claude Auchu - La Pocatiere, Quebec
  29. Darrel Wilder - Sun Lakes, AZ
  30. Isaiah Nugent - Bellingham, WA
  31. Jeff Graham - Okinawa, Japan
  32. Angus Pritchard - Decatur, GA
  33. Alexander Lin-Moore - New Haven
  34. Taylor Sturm - Northport, Suffolk Co., NY
  35. Oscar Johnson - Baton Rouge, Louisiana, USA
  36. Cathy Sheeter - Oradell, NJ
  37. Benjamin Ewing - Gainesville
  38. Bob Proctor - Elgin, Scotland
  39. Kai Shaikh - Pittsburgh, PA
  40. Ryan Quigley - Martinsburg
  41. Warwick Board - Vancouver, BC
  42. David Tripp Jr - Torrington, CT
  43. David Hollie - Ringgold, GA
  44. Jack Rogers - Mount Pleasant, SC
  45. Brad Hammond - Wilder, Idaho
  46. Gavin Aquila - Stewartsville, NJ
  47. Ed Harper Carmichael, CA

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.

Black Vulture
California Condor
Turkey Vulture
Common Raven
American Crow
Chihuahuan Raven
Double-crested Cormorant
Golden Eagle
Great Blue Heron
Peregrine Falcon
Tamaulipas Crow
Sandhill Crane









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