Once again Jory has agreed to provide 10,000 Birds readers with an identification quiz.  This one is different from his typical quiz: as a specific bird is not being identified and word play is involved instead of field marks and bird behavior.  Good luck (you’re going to need it!) and remember to post your guesses in the comments!

I have selected 5 species for this quiz.

Many of the clues concern the species name.  For example, if we take “Great Blue Heron”, then the first name is “Great”, the middle name is “Blue” and the last name is “Heron”.  Not really all that esoteric, but clarity is important.

Only species occurring regularly in the  ABA area (ABA Codes 1-3).

Try to guess in as few clues as possible.  The answer and discussion will be posted this coming Saturday.

The question that needs answering is at the end of the list of clues.

1. The five species are the only ones to share this last name.
2. The first names of all five species have a different number of letters (ignoring all apostrophes, dashes, etc).
3. The number of letters in each of the first names is sequential.  For example the five first names might have 6, 7, 8, 9 and 10 letters.
4. I have seen two of the five species in NY, the only two that reliably occur and are easily seen in NY.
5. Next year I hope to travel out of state to identify all three missing species.  It seems that there are some areas where they all might occur at the same time in the same place.

QUESTION … Without posting the species involved, what one location would you recommend that I go to identify all three missing species and at what time of year?

Stay tuned and good luck!

Written by Jory
Jory's first field guide-identified bird was a Northern Cardinal. This turned out to be his gateway drug into birding. In 2007 Jory became the least accomplished birder to see 300 birds in New York State in one year. He has birded the world over but maintains his birding "beginner mind", of which he is inordinately proud. Just ask him. Jory is the 10,000 Birds Avian Quizmaster, coming up with ever more diabolical ways to stump his legion of devoted fans. He lives with his wife and the possessions of his children just outside of Albany NY.