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This month's quiz bird is flying, facing away from us, potentially making for an identification challenge. However, we are helped by the fact that the bird is almost entirely black. That fact ought to lead us first to the blackbirds, one of few groups of ABA-area birds with members sporting a plumage as dark as the quiz bird's. However, even a quick glance at the picture should rule out those options, as our bird has white on the upper surface of the wings, with that white being found on the inner part of said wings. Yellow-headed Blackbird is the only blackbird with white in the wings that does not also have red there, but that species' white is in the primary coverts – in the outer part of the wing.
Closer scrutiny suggests that our bird's white is found in the lesser and/or greater coverts with some extending to the trailing edge of the wing along the fringes of either the inner secondaries or the tertials. Though we cannot see the pattern of white well enough to be sure of its exact position, the list of options for a name for the quiz bird is really quite limited, even considering that groups as disparate as shearwaters, storm-petrels, raptors, shorebirds, sparrows, and blackbirds might be considered by various quiz takers. That is because only one ABA-area species matches our quiz bird's upper wing pattern: Lark Bunting.
I took this picture of a displaying male Lark Bunting at Murphy's Pasture, Pawnee National Grassland, Weld Co., CO, on 28 May 2007.
The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the February Bird Photo Quiz—Lark Bunting:
The following list shows the number of submissions for each species guessed.
The photo and answer for this quiz were supplied by Tony Leukering.