ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 174


This month, we do not have much with which to work.  As I noted in my article on soft-parts coloration in Birding a while back, pink legs – as on our quiz bird -- are fairly rare in ABA-Area bird species.  In passerines, such species, virtually to a species, have relatively long legs, so we can ignore the back half of the field guide, because only a swift or a hummingbird would consider those legs long.  The paleness of the bird’s plumage might catch the eye and cause one to briefly consider various ardeids or some other typically pale non-passerine groups, but, hopefully, that was just a passing fancy.

With those short, thick, pink legs; the broad tail; and the dense and seemingly fluffy feathers around the vent, one might well look carefully among the Columbiformes in search of a solution.  Once there, the paleness of the bird suggests to many just one species:  African Collared-Dove or, as known in the bird trade and, formerly, in the ABA Area, Ringed Turtle Dove – which is simply a domestic variant of African Collared-Dove.  The appearance of “normal” African Collared-Dove is very similar to the now nearly ubiquitous (at least for most ABA-Area birders) Eurasian Collared-Dove.  In fact, the two can be a bit tricky to differentiate.  Africans are smaller, smaller-billed, and have paler primaries, among other features.  While we cannot determine the quiz bird’s size, the overall pale plumage, particularly the two pale left primaries that stick up above the right side of the bird’s tail, certainly suggest that we’re not looking at your run-of-the-mill Eurasian Collared-Dove.

However, there are two problems with a solution of African Collared-Dove for this month’s quiz.  The first is that the species cannot be a quiz subject, as it is not on the ABA’s list of ABA-Area bird species (see the rules).
The second is that the bird is not an African Collared-Dove.  Since the only Streptopelia on the ABA-Area list is Eurasian Collared-Dove, this must be a Eurasian Collared-Dove is it’s an ABA online-quiz subject.  Despite not being illustrated as such in most (if not all) of our regular field guides, there are pale Eurasian Collared-Doves in the ABA Area.  I would bet that most sizable local populations have one or two or more.  Where I took this photo, there were at least a couple.

So, without direct size comparison, how does one make the call?

I am glad that you asked that question, because the quiz bird’s cheeky behavior of showing his/her bum at you points us to the answer.  Of course, Señor Ted (ABA’s inveterate editor of Birding and provider of loquaciousness in other ABA venues) would say something like, “The call makes the call.”  Yes, vocalizations in the two species are notably different, as Ted has been endeavoring to make known to all and sundry on this side of The Pond.  However, there is no audio portion of this quiz, so we will have to stick to field marks.  The underside of the quiz bird’s tail shows what one needs to see to differentiate African and Eurasian collared-doves, even for pale individuals.  On African, the outer web of the outermost rectrix is entirely white, whereas that web on Eurasian is well more than half black.  In fact, the longest extent of black on any Eurasian tail feather is on that outer web.

I took this picture of an Eurasian Collared-Dove (which gave the distinctive growl call shortly before I took this picture) at Cut Bank, Glacier County, Montana, on 5 October 2015.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the September 2017 Bird Photo Quiz —Eurasian Collared-Dove:

  1. Mike Fialkovich - Pittsburgh, PA
  2. Dustin Holschuh - Peoria, Illinois
  3. David Buckley - Albuquerque, NM
  4. Max Rabinowitz - Anchorage, AK
  5. Aiden Dartley - Ridgewood
  6. Tim Pirk North - Vancouver, BC
  7. kris tyner - clearlake oaks, california
  8. Derek Lecy - San Rafael, CA
  9. Leah Lewis - Vernal,UT
  10. Clifford Hawley - Sacramento, CA
  11. Kristen Johnson - Haverford, PA
  12. David Lugo - Jonesborough, TN
  13. Andy Eckerson - Dighton, MA
  14. Thomas Kallmeyer - Missoula, MT
  15. Collin Stempien - Mobile, Alabama
  16. Nathan Webb - Enterprise, AL
  17. Carla Corin - Oak Harbor, WA
  18. Ryan Zucker - New York, NY
  19. Ben Sanders - Evanston, IL
  20. Bob Proctor - Elgin, Scotland
  21. Jeff Graham - Okinawa, Japan
  22. Julie Zempel - Waconia
  23. Wes Hatch - Roswell, GA
  24. Claude Auchu - La Pocatiere, Quebec
  25. Benjamin Ewing - Gainesville, FL
  26. Tim Swain - Concord, Massachusetts
  27. Karl Mayer - Tawas City, Michigan
  28. Diego Blanco - Altadena, CA
  29. Isaiah Nugent - Bellingham, WA
  30. Philip Kline - Portland, OR
  31. Joshua Glant - Seattle, WA
  32. Mike Wasilco - Caledonia, NY
  33. Gavin Aquila - NJ, Stewartsville
  34. Pam Myers - Marysville, WA
  35. David Rankin - Moreno Valley, CA
  36. Josh Southern - Holly Springs, NC
  37. Kyle Lima - Ellsworth, ME
  38. Bridget Spencer - Vancouver, BC
  39. Hiram Herrera - Chula Vista, CA
  40. Rosemarie Widmer - Allendale NJ
  41. Robert Packard - Riverside, CA
  42. Julie Desmeules - Quebec City, QC
  43. Dennis Troyer - Dundee, OH
  44. Danny Tipton - Albuquerque, NM
  45. Jason Vassallo - Seattle, WA
  46. William Rockey - Esparto, CA
  47. Steve Bell - Bloomington, IN
  48. Patrick Tilley - Encinitas, CA
  49. Lance Runion - Little Rock, AR
  50. John Faragher - Sugar Land, TX
  51. Chris Swarth - Mariposa, California
  52. Tom Lally - Chicago, IL
  53. Don de Mahy - New Iberia, LA
  54. Ed Harper - Carmichael, CA
  55. Elizabeth Axley - Rockville, MD
  56. Wayne Meyer - Denison, TX
  57. Abril Heredia - La Paz, Baja California Sur
  58. Delaney Kempf - San Antonio, Texas
  59. Nicholas Ranta - Clackamas, Oregon
  60. Aaron Polichar - San Diego, CA
  61. Greg Zupansic - Eugene, Oregon
  62. A.Algazzali - Hercules,CA
  63. Drew Beamer - San Diego, CA
  64. Sharon Farrs - Newport, DE
  65. Erica Rutherford - Oakland, CA
  66. Jesse Amesbury - Cape May Court House, NJ
  67. Molly Zahn - Lawrence, KS
  68. George and Carolyn Cresswell - Colorado Springs, CO
  69. Oliver - Oberlin, Ohio
  70. Jim Hully - Grayslake, Illinois
  71. Colleen Corballis - Smithsburg, MD
  72. Victoria Anderson - Houston, Texas
  73. Sage Willis, - Virginia
  74. Randall Ray - Harrisburg, PA
  75. Ed Harper - Carmichael, CA
  76. Karen Fung - New York
  77. Cole G. - Vancouver, BC
  78. Claire Miller - Fair Oaks
  79. Ursula Mitra - New York, NY, USA
  80. Andrew Theus - Savannah, GA
  81. Peter Lane - Québec,Canada
  82. Jessica Burton - Riverside
  83. Blake Mathys - West Mansfield, OH
  84. Ander Buckley - Charlottesville, Virginia
  85. Dean Shoup - Aurora, CO
  86. Kaylin Ingalls - Kirkland, WA
  87. Nolan Keyes - Berrien Springs, Michigan
  88. Adrian Burke - New York, NY
  89. Pete Fenner - East Peoria, IL
  90. Keith Bailey - Davis, Ca
  91. Isaac Denzer - Philomath, OR
  92. Nick Mrvelj - Portland, OR
  93. Terri Everett - Big Rapids, MI
  94. Walker Catlett - Charlottesville, Virginia
  95. Aiden Moser - Henniker, NH
  96. Jonathan Frodge - Cincinnati, Ohio

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.

Band-tailed Pigeon
White-winged Dove
Rock Pigeon
Northern Goshawk
Mississippi Kite
Glaucous-winged Gull




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