ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 80


Bird Photo
[+] Click Image for Larger Version

An incredible variety of raptor species (21 at last count) was provided as answers for this quiz; those folks were in the right group and a plurality of those got to the correct species. In my opinion, the tail pattern is the best starting point to get at the correct answer, as it's quite distinctive. There just aren't that many raptors with white bands on a dark tail, at least once one gets away from the kites, accipiters, and falcons. Since the tail appears relatively short, particularly compared to the long wings, we can rule out the accipiters. And, though the wings are long, they're much too broad with too broad and rounded of a hand for them to belong to a falcon; at least, a "typical" falcon in the genus Falco. The bird shows at least four fingers, which is definitely not a trait of that genus, nor of Ictinia (the genus of Mississippi and Plumbeous kites); Hook-billed Kite sports seven fingers and lacks such long wings.

Upon closer scrutiny, the white tail bands are bars on the inner web only of the various rectrices. That the above is true means that if the tail weren't at least partly spread, we wouldn't see the white bits from the top side, we would see just an overall darkish tail. This pattern is shown by only three ABA-area raptors, the quiz species, Mississippi Kite, and Merlin (and only a small percentage of the last species exhibit the trait).

Other features that we might have used to arrive at the correct species include wing shape and wing posture. The bird has very long wings, but though the close wingtip is somewhat rounded, it doesn't sport anywhere near as many fingers as do really round-winged raptors (and round-winged raptors tend to have shorter wings). And, though the picture's angle isn't the best for seeing this feature, we can still see that the wings angle a bit up from the body and then down at the wrist.

I took this picture of an adult female Osprey at Cape Island Preserve (TNC), Cape May Co., NJ, on 31 March 2009. I know that it was a female because a male was being quite noisy courting her for a very long time (see www.flickr.com/photos/tony_leukering/3403397258/in/set-72157603872645406/ -- she is present in scene 14 in that composite picture)


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

  1. John Brett, Toronto, ON
  2. Jim Kopitzke, Mesa AZ
  3. lagon kahle, san francisco, CA
  4. Benoit Dorion, Laval, Quebec, Canada
  5. Gyekeny Gertrud, Targu Mures, Romania
  6. Evan Houston, Seattle, WA
  7. Chris Warren, San Marcos, TX
  8. Ryan Phillips, Campbell, CA
  9. Daroczi J. Szilard, Tg.-Mures, Romania
  10. Mark Rosenstein, Cambridge, MA
  11. Jason McGuire, London, ON
  12. Mayn Hipp, Riverside, CT
  13. Aaron Bilyeu, Placerville, CA
  14. David Bell, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  15. Dwight Porter, Portland, Oregon
  16. Jeremy Medina, Tucson, AZ
  17. Miriam Rognlie, Bozeman, MT
  18. Brian Bielfelt, Robstown, TX
  19. Bob Archer, Portland, Oregon
  20. Larry Therrien, Belchertown, MA
  21. Claude Morris, Austin, TX
  22. Dave Slager, Columbus, Ohio
  23. Robert Loblaw, Davis, Ca
  24. Jamie Bradford, Chandler, AZ
  25. Amy St.Pierre, Kelly, WY
  26. Alan Dupuis, Cambridge, NY
  27. Avery Bartels, Nelson, BC, Canada
  28. Ellen Sagmyr, Emigrant, MT
  29. Noah Beattie-Moss, State College, PA
  30. Kevin Welsh, Allendale, MI
  31. John Tramontano, Warwick, Pa.
  32. Kevin Kerr, Guelph, ON
  33. Thomas Hopkins, St. Petersburg, Florida
  34. Mike Burrell, Bancroft, ON
  35. Julie Hart, Laramie, WY
  36. Joan Lucas, Wilson, WY
  37. Jonah Joffe, Wynnewood, PA
  38. Kevin M Hill, Shoreline, WA
  39. Harmony Coriddi, Marion, New York
  40. Karl Erich Mayer, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
  41. John Mitchell, Rockport, Texas
  42. Tim McFadden, Southampton,Pa
  43. Raymond VanBuskirk, Albuquerque, New Mexico
  44. Joris Elst, Wuustwezel, Belgium
  45. Carolyn Mangeng, Los Alamos, NM
  46. Spencer Hardy, Norwich, VT
  47. Georgia Conti, Patzcuaro, Michoacan
  48. Ann Gibson, Winfied, BC
  49. Mary Walsh, Valencia, CA
  50. Barb Robertson, Ottawa, Ont., Canada
  51. Anthony Laquidara, Plainsboro, NJ
  52. Bobby Walsh, Davis, CA
  53. Stephen Joly, Kamloops, BC
  54. Jeremy Kimm, Victoria, BC
  55. Terri Everett, Big Rapids, MI
  56. Pam Baum, Tucson, AZ

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.

Swainson's Hawk
Short-tailed Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Rough-legged Hawk
Northern Goshawk
Red-shouldered Hawk
Zone-tailed Hawk
Mississippi Kite
Common Black-Hawk
Golden Eagle
Barred owl
Boreal Owl
California Condor
Ferruginous Hawk
Fish Crow
Gray Hawk
Northern Harrier
Peregrine Falcon
Prairie Falcon
Spruce Grouse


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