ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 88


Bird Photo
[+] Click Image for Larger Version

This month's quiz subject was at least half-hidden behind Siberian Elm leaves, with the majority of features used by most birders to identify birds (various details of head and wings) not visible. However, as a majority of respondents noted, our quiz bird is most definitely identifiable with this poor view that we have.

Comparing bird to leaves, our subject is obviously quite small, and checking on the remaining well-illustrated field mark, tail pattern, and noting the habitat, we can probably jump straight to the warblers. Yes, other species sport broadly white outermost rectrices, but our bird has a dark outer corner to the outermost rectrix, a feature typical of warblers and few other species of white-tailed birds such as woodpeckers, gnatcatchers, and juncos. (Also note, that gross tail pattern and color rules out most of the incorrect species provided as answers this month.)

While rummaging through the warbler section of the guide, we might notice that extensively white undersides to tails is mostly a Dendroica feature, as long as we can eliminate such things as the remaining species of Vermivora (after the recent massacre of that genus, with removal of most of its species into Oreothlypis) and Prothonotary and Hooded Warblers. As our bird’s belly is obviously white, Blue-winged, Prothonotary, and Hooded can be quickly eliminated. Golden-winged is a bit more problematic, as are those hybrid Golden-winged x Blue-winged warblers with white underparts, except for a character easily overlooked in this picture: our bird has an apparently thin strip of rufous on the side. That bit of color in an otherwise apparently unrelieved sea of white rules out Golden-winged and its hybrids and just about all ID contenders. Some respondents considered Bay-breasted Warbler, but that species lacks such bright white flanks and vent region.

I took this picture of a male Chestnut-sided Warbler at Chico Basin Ranch, El Paso Co., CO, on 20 May 2007.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the July Bird Photo Quiz—Chestnut-sided Warbler:

  1. Aaron Bilyeu, Placerville, CA
  2. Andrew Fayer, Fort Washington, PA
  3. Eric Antonio Martinez, Oaxaca, Mexico
  4. Kiley P., Centreville, MD
  5. David Bell, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  6. Colin R Gjervold, Tampa, FL
  7. Logan Kahle, San Francisco, CA
  8. David Hollie, Ringgold, GA
  9. Steve Hampton, Davis, CA
  10. Andrew Tey, Los Altos, California
  11. Shannon P, Centreville, Maryland
  12. Larry Therrien, Belchertown, MA
  13. David Rankin, Accord, NY
  14. Dave Tietjen, Huntsville, AL
  15. Josh Southern, Raleigh, NC
  16. Claude Auchu, La Pocatière, Québec
  17. Lance Verderame, Livingston Manor, New York
  18. Jim Mountjoy, Galesburg, IL
  19. Dean Nicholson, Cranbrook, B.C.
  20. Gary W. Potter, Sanger. CA
  21. Paul Levesque, Vancouver, BC
  22. Benoit Dorion, Laval, Quebec, Canada
  23. Lucie Bruce, Houston, TX
  24. Georgia Conti, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico
  25. Philip Kline, Tucson, AZ
  26. Matthew Rymkiewicz, New York, NY
  27. Rick Poulin, Ottawa, Ontario
  28. John Gluth, Brentwood, New York
  29. Robert Packard, Riverside, CA
  30. Linda Fink, Grand Ronde, OR
  31. Kevin Kerr, Guelph, ON
  32. Barb Duncan, Jefferson City, MO
  33. Tony Coomer, Dumfries, VA
  34. Joshua LaCelle, NY
  35. Orrin Harvey, Tucson, AZ
  36. Pam Myers, Santa Cruz, CA
  37. Chris Warren, San Marcos, TX
  38. Ben Coulter, Etna, PA
  39. Graham Etherington, Norwich, England
  40. Richard Garrigues, San Antonio de Belen, Costa Rica
  41. George F. Cresswell, Colorado Springs, CO
  42. Michael Kline, Stafford, Virginia
  43. Jacob Barkett, Woodbridge, VA
  44. Valerie J. Harris, Cranbrook, B.C.
  45. Nick Lund, Portland, ME
  46. Jacob Drucker, New York, NY
  47. John Branchflower, Beaumont, CA
  48. Dave Slager, Columbus, Ohio
  49. Tom Benson, San Bernardino, CA
  50. Matthew Cvetas, Evanston, IL
  51. Miriam Rognlie, Bozeman, MT
  52. Christine Rock, Vancouver, BC
  53. Ann Gibson, Winfield, BC
  54. Ali Iyoob, Raleigh, NC
  55. John and Ben Shamgochian, John Goodchild, East Providence, RI
  56. Spencer Hardy, Norwich, VT
  57. Dave Magpiong, Bellmawr, NJ
  58. Avery Bartels, Nelson, BC, Canada
  59. Margaret Smith, Boulder, CO
  60. Grant Canterbury, Portland, OR
  61. Jamie Chavez, Santa Maria, CA
  62. Kyle Carlsen, Vincent, OH
  63. Ed Harper, Carmichael, CA
  64. Barb Robertson, Ottawa, Ontario Canada
  65. Greg Schrott, Sebring, FL
  66. Elliot Schunke, Milford, IL
  67. Shane DuBay, Albuquerque, NM
  68. Justin Bosler, Lancaster, PA
  69. Jim Flynn, Seattle, WA
  70. Mike Wasilco, Caledonia, NY
  71. Jon Katz, Burlington, VT
  72. Joel Such, Lyons, CO
  73. Terri Everett, Big Rapids, MI
  74. Jim Kopitzke, Mesa, AZ
  75. Nick Newberry, Oakton, VA
  76. Matthew Schneider, Silverton, OR
  77. Thomas Hopkins, Saint Petersburg, FL
  78. Greg Zupansic, Eugene, OR
  79. Harmony Coriddi, Marion, NY
  80. Larry Harms, Redlands, 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.

Rose-breasted Grosbeak
American Goldfinch
Red-eyed Vireo
Western Spindalis
American Redstart
Bay-breasted Warbler
Black-headed Grosbeak
Cerulean Warbler
Dark-eyed Junco
Eastern Towhee
Northern Parula
Black-capped Gnatcatcher
Blackpoll Warbler
Black-throated Blue Warbler
Black-throated Gray Warbler
Blue-gray Gnatcatcher
Cedar Waxwing
Chestnut-backed Chickadee
Chipping Sparrow
Eastern Kingbird
Golden-winged Warbler
Hairy Woodpecker
Orchard Oriole
Scarlet Tanager
Tennessee Warbler
Tufted Titmouse
Warbling Vireo


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