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Birding Photo Quiz: April 2017

Think of a flock of birds in flight: ducks over a marsh, vultures at a kill, gulls coming off a landfill. For sure, we often see ducks, vultures, and gulls in flight, and, sooner or later, we become adept at ID’ing those birds on the wing.

Here’s another common sight: blackbirds flying around feedlots, pastures, and wetlands. Across much of the ABA Area, and throughout much of the year, you can see roosts of hundreds, thousands, and, exceptionally, millions of blackbirds. When they put into flight, the spectacle is equal parts stirring and grotesque.

But how do we ID blackbirds in flight? And a more foundational question: Do we even make the attempt? Those are the questions posed by Tom Johnson in his Featured Photo in the April 2017 Birding, arriving in ABA members’ mailboxes right now. Take a look at these photos, and see what you think. As always, please tell us how you arrived at your conjecture, definitive solution, or wild-horse guess.



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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

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