In keeping with recent tradition, we’re going to try to work out together some provisional answers to the Photo Quiz in the current (January/February 2013) issue of Birding magazine. The “official” answers, provided by QuizMaster Tom Johnson, will appear in the forthcoming March/April 2013 Birding. But there’s no reason we can’t discuss the quiz together right now.
First things first. The photos. We’ll do this in three installments. Here’s #1:
The photo is from Port Aransas, Nueces County, Texas; the date is late February.
Let’s go out on a limb here: We can safely venture that practically any human being will be able to tell that we’re looking at ducks. That narrows things down a bit.
Let’s go further out on that limb now, and venture that many readers of The ABA Blog will be able to put names on a few of these ducks. At the same time, we can be confident that other ducks in this photo will not be all that easy for many of us. So we have a nice mix of ID challenges here, running the gamut from easy and affirming (that’s good) to difficult and challenging (that’s good, too). There’s a little bit of everything here, and, really, that’s how it is with much of the overall birding experience.
Oh, we need to have some agreement about we’re talking about. We have twelve (12) ducks in this image. Going from the lead bird (left) to the rear bird (right), we’ll call them A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, K, and L. They’re ordered according to the tips of the bill: The duck with the leftmost bill tip is A, then B, then C, etc., all the way to the duck with the rightmost bill tip, L.
In the next few days, we’ll post Parts 2 and 3 of the January/February 2013 Birding photo quiz. In the meantime, let’s see what we can do with these ducks. Please enter your analyses in the “comments” field below, and please take a few moments to explain your thinking. If you think duck G is a female Steller’s Eider, please say why…
Have at it!
P.s. And if you want an additional challenge, be sure move along to Part 2 of this three-part quiz.