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Birding Photo Quiz: November 2019

For the last Birding photo quiz of the 2010s, we turned the proceedings over to four teen birders who were recent participants in the ABA’s Young Birder of the Year program. Each one of them took a whack at the Nov. 2019 Birding Featured Photo, and each one of them pretty quickly got around to the correct answer. But their approaches were highly varied, and not a one of them was entirely conventional—conventional, that is to say, by the standards of bird identification as many of us learned it in the’ 80s, ’90s, and ’00s. Please consult the Nov. 2019 Birding for the independently derived analyses by Gracie McMahon, Rashmiya Hasan, Tony Belejack, and William Young: aba.org/birding-magazine-november-2019/#66 (ABA member password required for full access).

Photo by © Ted Floyd. (Click on image to enlarge.)

In the meantime, let’s see what we can do working together on this one. It’s late September and we’re up in the steep foothills of the Colorado Rockies west of Boulder. We’ve got a little brown bird, decidedly long-tailed, creeping up the trunk of a ponderosa pine. So it’s gotta be a . . .

Wait. a. sec.

Okay, so it’s not that bird. But why not? And why is it what it is?

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