ABA Photo Quiz

ABA Online Bird Photo Quiz 89


Bird Photo
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This month's quiz bird, unlike last month's, is out in the open, allowing us a good view. Granted, we cannot see the face well, but one cannot have everything! The apparent size and gross color pattern, not to mention the hooked bill that we can just barely make out, suggest a raptor. Careful scrutiny of the flight feathers reveals that there are two ages of such (older, browner feathers and younger, blacker feathers) with no obvious missing feathers, so the bird does not appear to be in active molt, thus it's an adult… or, at least, not a juvenile. Thus, we can rule out the most widespread option: Red-tailed Hawk, as a Red-tailed of this age would have, well, a red tail. Unless it's a Harlan's Hawk. Hmm.

Our bird's wings also don't look long enough to be those of a Turkey Vulture or any eagle, and there is no patch of white or whitish in the hand, so Black Vulture and Ferruginous Hawk go by the boards. Our bird's wings are also fairly pointed, with the longest primary being number 8 and with p6 being considerably shorter than p8, thus ruling out the really round-winged raptors. Looking more closely at the underparts, we can see that the chin and throat are white, the chest darkish, and the sides and flanks sport what appears to be reddish barring, but no distinct or even indistinct belly band. Okay, we can certainly rule Red-tailed Hawk out now. Broad-winged Hawk can easily match our bird's underparts, but that species usually shows fairly strong lateral throat stripes, though we might not have an angle on them. However, Broad-winged adults sport distinctly black-and-white banded tails, as do a number of other options (e. g., Gray and Red-shouldered).

The longish, somewhat pointed wings, the flight feathers being at least as dark as the upperwing coverts, the vaguely-banded tail, and the aforementioned underparts pattern really fits only one ABA-area raptor. I took this picture of a Swainson's Hawk (an adult female) at Barr Lake S.P., Adams Co., CO, on 22 April 2006.


The following people (listed by submission date beginning with the earliest) submitted correct answers for the August Bird Photo Quiz—Swainson's Hawk:

  1. Ed Harper, Carmichael, CA
  2. Karlo Antonio Soto, Veracruz, Mexico
  3. Aaron Bilyeu, Placerville, CA
  4. John Brett, Toronto, ON
  5. David Hollie, Ringgold, GA
  6. Josh Southern, Raleigh, NC
  7. Dave Slager, Columbus, Ohio
  8. Steve Arlow, Rochford, Essex, England
  9. Andrew Thornton, St. Augustine, FL
  10. Robert Packard, Riverside, CA
  11. Tony Coomer, Dumfries, VA
  12. Ross Schaefer, Atascadero, CA
  13. Ben Coulter, Etna, PA
  14. Jim Mountjoy, Galesburg, IL
  15. Zaq Smith, Davis, Ca.
  16. Bob Proctor, Elgin, Scotland
  17. David Bell, Sault Ste. Marie, ON
  18. Thomas Hall, Livermore, CO
  19. Anise Algazzali, Pinole, CA
  20. Matthew Cvetas, Evanston, IL
  21. Jim Flynn, Seattle, WA
  22. Orrin Harvey, Tucson, AZ
  23. Niko Ranta, Corvallis, Oregon
  24. Elliot Schunke, Milford, IL
  25. Ryan Edmondson, Fishers
  26. Gary W. Potter, Sanger, California
  27. Tom Benson, San Bernardino, CA
  28. John Hammond, Durham, North Carolina
  29. Jon Katz, Burlington, VT
  30. Steve Hampton, Davis, CA
  31. Nels F. Thompson, Owatonna, MN
  32. Sahida Quispe Bellota, Lima
  33. Sam Burckhardt, Chicago, IL
  34. Dustin Harris, Toronto, ON
  35. Brian Uher-Koch, Bellingham, WA
  36. Greg Schrott, Sebring, FL
  37. Anna Fasoli, Nicktown, PA
  38. Traci Van Tine, Otter Lake, MI
  39. Ann Gibson, Winfield, BC
  40. Barb Robertson, Ottawa, On., Canada
  41. Andre Moncrieff, Berrien Springs, MI
  42. Kevin Kerr, Guelph, ON
  43. Logan Kahle, San Francisco, CA
  44. Karl Erich Mayer, Saint Clair Shores, Michigan
  45. Elaine Nakash, Bowie, MD
  46. Chad Heins, Mankato, MN
  47. Jason McGuire, London, ON
  48. Clay Kempf, CA
  49. Jamie Chavez, Santa Maria, CA
  50. Graham Etherington, Norwich, England
  51. Tristan Weinbrenner, McPherson, KS
  52. Chris Warren, San Marcos, TX
  53. Joel Such, Lyons, Colorado
  54. Colin Gjervold, Tampa, FL
  55. Eric Antonio Martinez, Oaxaca, Mexico
  56. Georgia Conti, Patzcuaro, Michoacan, Mexico
  57. Nicholas, Libertyville, Illinois
  58. Irina K., Berkeley, CA
  59. Miriam Rognlie, Bozeman, MT
  60. Jon Atwood, Keene, NH
  61. Vivek Govind Kumar, Montreal, Quebec
  62. Wayne Meyer, Denison, TX
  63. Michael Cannon, Mount Prospect, IL
  64. Christine Rock, Vancouver, BC
  65. Benoit Dorion, Laval, Quebec, Canada
  66. Paul Levesque, Vancouver BC
  67. Jennifer Dudley, New York, NY
  68. George F. Cresswell, Colorado Springs
  69. Grant McCreary, Cumming, GA
  70. Greg Zupansic, Eugene, Oregon
  71. Terri Everett, Big Rapids, MI
  72. Stephen Joly, Kamloops, BC
  73. Jim Kopitzke, Mesa, AZ
  74. Richard Jeffers, Santa Clara, CA
  75. Matthew Schneider, Silverton, Oregon
  76. Mike Rippey, Napa, 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.

Swainson's Hawk
Northern Harrier
Sharp-shinned Hawk
Broad-winged Hawk
Peregrine Falcon
Northern Goshawk
Cooper's Hawk
Gray Hawk
White-tailed Hawk
Mississippi Kite
Red-shouldered Hawk
Red-tailed Hawk
Snail Kite
Hook-billed Kite
Lesser Prairie-Chicken
Roadside Hawk


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