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Photo Quiz: October 2016 Birding

The Featured Photo in the October 2016 Birding depicts not one… not two… but… well, a whole lotta sandpipers in flight. What are they all? If it helps (hint: yes, it helps!), the image is from Texas in spring.

Photo by © Tom Johnson.

Photo by © Tom Johnson. Click on image to enlarge

How about another hint? How about a close-up of those orangey birds with the silvery under-wings? Here goes:

16-5-12-02-close-up

Did you know about this field mark? In his analysis of the Featured Photo, Tom Johnson describes the field mark indicated by the arrows. Tom also discusses how we make use of such field marks more generally: They can contribute to our “impression” of a bird’s “gestalt,” but field marks like this one are most useful if we understand the actual physiology that we’re looking at.

For sure, read Tom’s analysis in the October Birding, arriving in ABA members’ mailboxes right now. But first, let’s go back to the original question: What are these birds, and–as always–how do you know?

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