As promised, it is time for the answers to A Diabolical Quick Quiz which was posted way back on Sunday.  I must say that it was far more diabolical than I thought it would be, with only one of the three questions being answered completely correctly, though one could argue that the third was also answered at least mostly correctly, if that makes any sense at all.  Well, whatever, even the answers don’t have to make sense (I don’t call ’em diabolical for nothin’)!

The first quiz picture, which I felt sure would be answered quickly and easily, ended up stumping all who guessed.  Here is the picture, in case you have forgotten what it looked like:

While everyone was correct in guessing that the bird was a heron, no one guessed the correct species of heron!  Will, Jason, and Nate all thought the bird depicted was a Great Blue Heron (though Nate waffled and changed his guess to Tricolored Heron, thus doubling his wrongness) and Jochen thought it was a Little Blue Heron.  I can understand why folks would not get this one right, mostly because I can’t recall ever having seen this species in water this deep (I think it was cooling off more than it was hunting).  But, as I am sure everyone is eager to find out, the bird was actually a Black-crowned Night-Heron.

The second quiz picture only offered the blurry belly and feet of a flying bird.  Folks did much better on this, but before I get into who guessed what I will let everyone see the original quiz picture again.

Will, who must have been drinking, guessed Great Egret (just kidding, Will) while Jason thought Least Bittern (I wish!) and Jochen, Jacob, and Nate all correctly surmised they were seeing the bottom half of a Black-crowned Night-Heron.  Pretty diabolical to use the same bird twice, no?  Anyway, here is more focused and centered shot of the same bird taken seconds earlier:

Finally, we arrive at the final quiz picture, a disgusting array of diabolicalness.  I might very well be tried for war crimes for even messing with birders’ minds like I did with this picture.  The only mitigating factor is that all I demanded by way of an answer was the number of species in the picture, but, birders being birders, all who guessed decided to put their guesses as to species as well…anyway, first the original:

People only guessed five or six species on first guesses, though, over the course of several comments, Jochen‘s number of species named rose to seven without him explicitly saying he was guessing seven and Jason moved his number to seven as well.  There are seven species in the picture and Jochen named six of them, something that only Jacob managed to match him on, though Jacob thought there were only six species.  Jason explicitly said that there were seven species but he only named five correctly (I only wish Jochen was right and one was a Sandwich Tern: that would have been a lifer!).  The seven species are Laughing and Herring Gulls, Forster’s, Least, Gull-billed, and Common Terns, and Short-billed Dowitcher.  I have helpfully included a labeled version of the picture below, but, and this is where the war crime might come back into play, I can’t remember which exact bird was the Common Tern.  There was one there when I took the picture and I remember the general vicinity but I now can’t remember which one it was…

I am not sure if there is a straightforward winner on this quiz…so I’ll say you are all winners and leave it at that (and you all will forgive my inability to remember which bird is the Common Tern, right?).

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Written by Corey
Corey is a New Yorker who lived most of his life in upstate New York but has lived in Queens since 2008. He's only been birding since 2005 but has garnered a respectable life list by birding whenever he wasn't working as a union representative or spending time with his family. He lives in Forest Hills with Daisy, their son, Desmond Shearwater, and their indoor cat, B.B. His bird photographs have appeared on the Today Show, in Birding, Living Bird Magazine, Bird Watcher's Digest, and many other fine publications. He is also the author of the American Birding Association Field Guide to the Birds of New York.