American Birding Podcast



Birding Photo Quiz: June 2019

Don’t blurt out the answer! Pretend you’ve never seen the species of bird in this photo. Or pretend you’re on a bird walk, and you’re showing these birds to someone less expert than you. Less expert, yes, but eager to learn. You’re with someone who wants more than a name—Lesser Zanther or Hoyteenish Shindilly—someone who wants to know why it’s this species of zanther or that species of shindilly.

You start by saying what you see on the birds. What do you notice? Do you go straight for size and shape? Or are you more attracted to color and pattern? Do you focus more on fine details (bill, eyes, feathers) or more on the overall bird (build and behavior)?

In 50 words or less:

“On these birds, I see _____, _____, and _____. I’m struck by _____, _____, and _____. I know it’s a _____ and not a ______ because of _____, _____, and _____.”

So, let’s all channel our inner Leukering, and share with one another what we see on the birds in this installment of Birding magazine’s “Featured Photo.” Tony’s answer and analysis—much more of the latter than the former!—appears on p. 54 of the print edition of the June 2019 issue of Birding, arriving in ABA members’ mailboxes as we speak.

Don’t say what these birds are! Instead, share with us what you see on them. What marks–feathers and bare parts, but also structure and ecological context–enable you to make the ID? Photo by © Jim Stasz.