Rockjumper Tours

aba events

Birding Photo Quiz: December 2018

“BVD,” we birders like to say, when confronted with views such as these. No, we’re not talking about the brand of men’s underwear. “BVD,” to the birder, stands for “better view desired.”

Is that an aesthetic judgment? We’d rather see a bird’s face than butt? Let’s not go there. Or is it a pragmatic assessment?—an admission that views like these ones are some combination of challenging, difficult, and useless.

It can take some getting used to, but views from beneath can be surprisingly diagnostic. In the photo below, we see color and pattern and shape, the touchstones of field identification. And we’ll tell you that this photo is from eastern Massachusetts in late September. Thus, Townsend’s Warbler and Olive not-a-Warbler presumably are not in the running.

December 2018 Birding Featured Photo. Quiz Bird A. Eastern Massachusetts, late September. Photo by © Haynes Miller.

 

 

Want more? This next one is the classic up-the-undertail American wood-warbler. One field mark in particular just screams out at us… It was in the same flock as the bird we saw a moment ago, so, again, we’re in eastern Massachusetts in late September.

December 2018 Birding Featured Photo. Quiz Bird B. Eastern Massachusetts, late September. Photo by © Haynes Miller.

 

 

How ’bout another? We’re still in eastern Massachusetts in late September. The warblers are really high up in the trees today! Anyhow, if we restrict our analysis to color and pattern, we might not get very far with this one. But if we go for structure, the answer leaps out at us!

December 2018 Birding Featured Photo. Quiz Bird C. Eastern Massachusetts, late September. Photo by © Haynes Miller.

 

In the December 2018 Birding, winging its way to ABA member mailboxes right now, bird ID guru Patrick Maurice works us through the answers. That’s cool, but there’s also no reason we can’t try to figure these out among ourselves. Use the “Leave a comment” field below, please, and let’s see what we can do with these diagnostic photos of beautiful birds. BVD?—bah!

 

 

 

 

 

Facebooktwitter
The following two tabs change content below.
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)

American Birding Podcast
Birders know well that the healthiest, most dynamic choruses contain many different voices. The birding community encompasses a wide variety of interests, talents, and convictions. All are welcome.
If you like birding, we want to hear from you.
Read More »

Categories

Authors

Archives

ABA's FREE Birder's Guide

via email

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow ABA on Twitter