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Photo Quiz: August 2015 Birding

This one would seem to qualify as an “LBJ”—a little brown job. But which species? There must be at least 100 in the ABA Area. Hint: Think about geographic variation. Tell us what you think this bird is, and where you think it was photographed.

As always, the most helpful answers are the ones that tell why. Don’t just say that this is a Rufous-winged Sparrow. (If you think that’s what it is.) Tell us how you separated it from Rufous-crowned Sparrow and even Canyon Towhee.

Not that we’d ever try to lead anyone astray . . .

15-4-15-01a [Hermit Thrush] - EDITED

As always, the full and definitive analysis appears in Birding magazine. A link to the article (and to all the content in the August 2015 Birding) will be posted here next week, but, for now, let’s discuss this mystery bird online.

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Ted Floyd

Ted Floyd

Editor, Birding magazine at American Birding Association
Ted Floyd is the Editor of Birding magazine, and he is broadly involved in other programs and initiatives of the ABA. He is the author of more than 100 magazine and journal articles, and has written four recent books, including an ABA title, the ABA Guide to Birds of Colorado. Floyd is a frequent speaker at birding festivals and state ornithological society meetings, and he has served on the boards of several nonprofit organizations. Mainly, he listens to birds at night.
Ted Floyd

Latest posts by Ted Floyd (see all)

  • Richard Carlson

    Hermit thrush

  • JustinW

    The photo’s titled!

    • Ted Floyd

      Oops… 🙂

  • Mike Patterson

    Yeah, that title thing does, kind of, suck the wind out of this quiz, doesn’t it…

    Anyway:
    2nd-year (hatched the previous breeding season); note retained coverts.
    Assuming my color-sight challenged eyes are not deceiving me, the generally grayish tones of the back and the very gray flanks most probably put this in the “Western Mountain” group, though I don’t think we can rule out one of the grayer members of the “guttatus” group. So, inter-mountain west.

    If Ted took this photo, I think we can narrow the location down even further…

    • Ted Floyd

      Ted didn’t take the photo, and it’s from nowhere near where Ted is right now.

      The photo is by Tony Leukering, but that probably doesn’t help much. The dude gets around . . .

  • Tony Leukering

    Actually, the photo was taken by Steve Mlodinow, who also gets around.

    • Ted Floyd

      Oops. Yes. Of course. Sorry ’bout that. The text in the August Birding, which we’ll post here soon, is by Tony Leukering.

      • Richard Carlson

        what title? Where on original picture??

  • Pingback: Birding Online: August 2015 « ABA Publications()

  • Ted Floyd

    An update. Here’s Tony Leukering’s analysis of the Featured Photo:

    http://birdingmagazine.aba.org/i/564356-august-2015/62

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