ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 60


Bird Photo

This month's quiz bird was obviously a raptor, and not some run-of-the-mill raptor, but one sporting an interesting array of field marks. The combination of all-dark head, white chest, dark belly, and entirely pale tail (at least from underneath) is not found in many ABA-area raptors. Certainly none of our eagles, kites, accipiters, and falcons exhibit such features, so we'll have to look among the buteos, a group that causes no end of confusion for many birders. The relatively broad-based wings also point in that direction.

However, the above combo of field marks eliminates most of our buteo options. Most have banded tails, no plumage of Ferruginous Hawk combines a white chest with dark belly, and Rough-legged Hawk would show contrasting black wrist patches. That leaves us with only White-tailed Hawk and the Harlan's form of Red-tailed Hawk. Our bird's fairly pointed wings certainly suggest White-tailed (which can look quite Swainson's Hawk-like in shape, particularly juveniles) and the lack of a contrastingly dark carpal bar provides us enough information to eliminate Harlan's Hawk. Yes, the bird looks nothing like an adult White-tailed Hawk, but that's because our bird is a juvenile, an age at which appearances are quite different from their parents, as is true in most buteos. However, unlike other buteos with only one color morph of adult plumage, there is something of an array of juvenile plumages in the species, but with most individuals being fairly similar to our quiz bird.

Chris Wood took this picture of a dark-morph juvenile White-tailed Hawk northeast of McAllen, TX, in February 2007.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the March Bird Photo Quiz—White-tailed Hawk:

  1. Jim Kopitzke, Mesa AZ
  2. Karl Erich Mayer, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
  3. Matt Pike, Lacey, WA
  4. Urs Geiser, Woodridge, Illinois
  5. Nathan Swick, Chapel Hill, NC
  6. Barb Duncan, Jefferson City, MO
  7. Benoit Dorion, Saint-Laurent, Quebec, Canada
  8. Stephen Joly, Kamloops, BC
  9. Thomas Hall, Livermore, Colorado
  10. Patty McKelvey, Sheffield Village, OH
  11. Joe T, NY, NY
  12. Randy Mehoves, Saint Cloud, MN
  13. Shaun Hicks, Morrisville, PA
  14. Joshua Covill, Columbia Falls, MT
  15. Thomas Hopkins, St. Petersburg, FL
  16. Jeremy Medina, Tucson, AZ
  17. Thomas Lechleitner, Fort Lupton, CO
  18. Mary Chambers, Petaluma, CA
  19. Judith C Porter, Kingman, AZ 86401
  20. Alan Dupuis, Cambridge, NY
  21. Kevin M Hill, Shoreline, WA
  22. Myles Falconer, Lakefield, ONTARIO
  23. Steve Arlow, Rochford, Essex, England
  24. Bret McCarty, Lakewood, OH
  25. Willis Brubaker, Wooster, Ohio
  26. Matt Baumann, ABQ,NM
  27. Gary W. Potter, Sanger, California
  28. Laura Coble, Cannnon Falls, MN
  29. tom graham, seabrook-NH
  30. Tom Benson, San Bernardino, CA
  31. Bruce Larson, Milton, MA
  32. Owen McMurtrey, Chicago, IL
  33. Pete Fenner, East Peoria, IL
  34. Jill Kaminski, Naples, FL
  35. Terri Everett, Big Rapids, MI
  36. Jake McCumber, Austin, TX
  37. Liis Veelma, Winnipeg MB
  38. Philip Kline, Tucson, AZ
  39. Benjamin Berkompas, Yacolt WA
  40. Andrew Sewell, Columbus, Ohio
  41. Tim Hodge, Roseland, VA
  42. Graham Etherington, Norwich, UK
  43. Aaron Bilyeu, Placerville, CA
  44. Louie Toth, Fairview Heights, IL
  45. Jacob Saucier, Baton Rouge, LA
  46. Brendan Fogarty, Hempstead, NY
  47. Shawn T. Dash, El Paso, TX
  48. Szilard Daroczi, Tg.-Mures, Romania
  49. Joshua Watson, Gainesville
  50. Grant Gardner, Ottumwa, IA
  51. Henry Trombley, Bristol, VT
  52. Luke Downey, Friendswood, TX
  53. Robin LaFortune, Delano, MN
  54. Robert Packard, Riverside, CA
  55. Ann McDonald, Calgary, Alberta
  56. Linda Swanson, San Francisco, CA
  57. Jon Atwood, Keene, NH
  58. Harry Hooper, Tallahassee, Florida
  59. Julie Desmeules, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
  60. Ryan Phillips, San Jose, CA
  61. Jonathan Comeau, Williston, VT
  62. Glenn L. Werner, Beaufort, S.C.
  63. Wendy Gibbons, Galena, Illinois
  64. Claude Auchu, La Pocatière, Québec
  65. John Garrett, Pasadena, CA
  66. Tamara Brenner, Elmhurst, IL
  67. Paul Nolan, Charleston, SC
  68. Michael S, Levy, Centereach, N.Y.
  69. beau schaefer, round lake beach, IL
  70. Angie Hardesty, Bowling Green, KY
  71. Ken McKenna, Stellarton. NS
  72. Rob Lane, Chandler, AZ
  73. Chris Warren, Portland, OR
  74. Howard Sands, Eagle Point, Oregon
  75. Steve Hampton, Davis, CA
  76. Marcelo Brongo, Barcelona, Spain
  77. Kurt Pohlman, Kaneohe, Hi
  78. Greg Schrott, Sebring, FL
  79. Brent Bomkamp, Northport, New York
  80. George Cresswell, Colorado Springs, CO
  81. Stephen Seiffert, Lansdowne, Ontario, Canada
  82. Diane Demers, Montréal, QC, Canada
  83. Leighton Reid, Woodberry Forest, VA
  84. Kevin Kerr, Guelph, ON
  85. Tim Hochstetler, Millersburg OH
  86. Richard Garrigues, San Antonio de Belen, Heredia, Costa Rica
  87. Tim McFadden, Philadelphia, Pa
  88. Jim Mountjoy, Galesburg IL
  89. Brian McDermott, Asheville, NC
  90. Caleb Dunn, McAllen, TX
  91. Geoffrey Parks, Gainesville, FL
  92. Kasia Matyniak, Camp Hill, PA
  93. Andy Johnson, Ann Arbor, MI
  94. Lesley Howes, Ottawa, ON
  95. Ben Barkley, Basking Ridge, New Jersey
  96. Michael Lester, Haworth, NJ
  97. Geoffrey A. Williamson, Chicago, IL
  98. Julie Hart, Hartland, VT
  99. Alexandre Anctil, Quebec, Quebec
  100. Susan Kritzik, Portola Valley, CA
  101. Greg Zupansic, Eugene, Oregon
  102. Melissa Hein, North Branch, MN
  103. Megan Rasmussen, Sudbury, Ontario
  104. Eric Huston, Tumwater, WA
  105. Pattie McGinnis, Mandeville, La.
  106. David Yeany II, Cumberland, MD
  107. gary koehn, colorado springs, colorado
  108. Javier de Leon, Edinburg, TX
  109. Larry Therrien, Belchertown, MA
  110. Vicki Sandage, Ashland, KY
  111. Marlene Jay Cashen, Veradale, Washington
  112. Jean Whitlock, Green Bay, WI
  113. Katherine Ross, Anchorage, AK
  114. Blake Mathys, Milltown, NJ
  115. Andrew Fayer, Fort Washington, PA
  116. Anthony H. Bledsoe, Pittsburgh, PA
  117. Ron Pozzi, Granite Bay, California
  118. Pam Baum, Tucson, AZ
  119. James McKay, Mesa, AZ
  120. Matthew Schneider, Silverton, OR
  121. Chris Benson, Rochester, MN
  122. Adrian Azpiroz, St. Louis, MO
  123. Sarah J. Zastrow, Riverdale, MD
  124. Lois Lindsay, Frankford WV
  125. Robert Doster, Albuquerque, NM
  126. James P. Smith, Amherst, MA
  127. Rich Swartzentruber, Salem, Oregon

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-tailed Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Ferruginous Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Swainson's Hawk
Prairie Falcon
Crimson-collared Grosbeak
Gray Hawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
White-tailed Kite


This answer was written by Tony Leukering. The photo was supplied by Chris Wood.