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Liam's Weekly Quiz!


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Thank you for your submissions!!

Here are the correct identifications of this week's birds:

Front bird on the left: Gull-billed Tern. This is tricky because of the poor image quality, we can't get a lot of detail on the bill. We can say it is black, though, which rules out Royal and Caspian, and doesn't appear to have a pale tip like Sandwich. Common/Forster's/Roseate are proportionally smaller, less stocky, with smaller bills. Again, hard to see the bill size due to the resolution. That leaves us with Gull-billed Tern.

Back bird on the left: Royal  Tern. This one is easy. It is a large tern with a pumpkin orange bill. This could only be mistaken for Elegant Tern, which has a skinnier bill.

Bird on the right: juvenile Laughing Gull. Juvenile Ring-billed Gull has a paler posterior half of the bill, Herring is much larger than Royal Tern, with more brown mottling down the chest to the belly. Sabine's and Bonaparte's Gulls are pale with a dark ear patch. Laughing Gull is the only one that makes sense given this size, plumage, and bill coloration.

This photo was taken in Starr County, Texas on July 26th. The Royal Tern was a first county record (and remains the only record). A Sandwich Tern photographed at the same site represents the same. These birds were spotted here following Hurricane Hanna in 2020, a Category 1 hurricane that hit the Texas coast near S. Padre Island.

Those who guessed Gull-billed Tern, Royal Tern, and Laughing Gull get 3 points per species, those who guessed any species in the respective genus, get 2 points, and anyone who guessed any species in the family Sternidae or Laridae gets 1 point. Anyone who guessed juvenile for the Laughing Gull and adult for the Gull-billed Tern gets an additional point. Sex cannot be determined for any individual and I cannot definitively infer age of the Royal Tern. 

Here's the 10/1/21 scoreboard.

_________________________________

1. BirdingBoy, ConnorCochrane, Kevin - 19 points

2. TheBirdNuts  - 18 points

3. AidanB, BirdNrd - 17 points

4. IKLland, Kerri - 14 points

5. stitch58 - 13 points

6. Avery, meghann - 12 points 

7. Kansasbirdguy, PalmWarbler - 9 points

8. Lonestranger, quiscalusquiscula, Peromyscsus - 6 points

9. Johnd - 5 points

10. MichaelLong - 4 points

10. SeanBirds - 3 points

11. BlueJay, Clip - 0 points

_________________________________

 

Let me know if I missed you on the scoreboard or if I made any other errors.

Thanks again for your submissions! This week's quiz will be posted shortly.

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48 minutes ago, Liam said:

Here is this week's bird. Everyone's favorite - an Empid!

HINT: This was photographed on territory in Arizona! Do some research on distribution and what species breeds where if you're having difficulty differentiating species.

Does that mean I should find some rare empid that only breeds in a very restrictive range? 

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1 hour ago, The Bird Nuts said:

Agh, I just missed the Gull-billed Tern... I think I did okay, though, considering terns and gulls are not my strong suit.

I got pretty lucky, I went with Gull-billed, I very well could have gone with another choice. Also, I never would have goten the Laughing Gull except, they are super common on the Texas coast and I started reading the sizes. Laughing Gulls were the only bird that could have that coloring and be that size. At least that I could find.

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4 minutes ago, Kevin said:

I got pretty lucky, I went with Gull-billed, I very well could have gone with another choice. Also, I never would have goten the Laughing Gull except, they are super common on the Texas coast and I started reading the sizes. Laughing Gulls were the only bird that could have that coloring and be that size. At least that I could find.

I got the terns pretty easily but was way off on the gull. I just wish I hadn't forgot to mention that I thought both of the terns were adults.

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I'm going to have to bow out of this round because I was researching on Macaulay Library and found @Liam's photo.  I didn't see anywhere that researching online isn't allowed (sorry if I missed it and broke the rules!), but it might have to be.  At least I was on the right track...

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3 minutes ago, The Bird Nuts said:

I'm going to have to bow out of this round because I was researching on Macaulay Library and found @Liam's photo.  I didn't see anywhere that researching online isn't allowed (sorry if I missed it and broke the rules!), but it might have to be.  At least I was on the right track...

Good to know, I will use other resources for this one. 

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Y'all can research. I recommend it. This quiz is meant to be a learning tool that's also fun. 

 

And yeah unfortunately you might bump into the photos when doing some digging. That's why I try to use crummy (low-rated) photos or photos I haven't uploaded anywhere to minimize those chances. This week just so happens to be a good photo of a tricky bird. 

 

Bird Nuts, thank you for your integrity!

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8 hours ago, Kevin said:

Does that mean I should find some rare empid that only breeds in a very restrictive range? 

Possibly, but not necessarily. Range might be useful if you're differentiating two very similar species.

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