First of all … repeat after me:  1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20.  There, was that so hard?  It was too hard for me too!  I cheated, copying the entire post into Word and did a FIND.  And to think I was a math major. Sigh.

Congratulations to all who participated in this quiz.  Great job in not giving away the answers too quickly!  Most of you were able to figure this one out.  Excellent!  (And I thought this was going to be unsolvable).

To read the original quiz, try this link: http://10000birds.com/avian-quiz-december-2010

Here are the clues and explanations.

2 miles, 39 yards, 1 foot:

  • This is the altitude of the specific location, 10,678 feet.

I was breathless upon arrival at this location for two reasons, in addition to the birds:

  • Reason 1 is the altitude.  I basically live at sea level and the 10,678 feet causes me to pant!
  • Reason 2 is the beautiful vista, which includes Albuquerque, NM.

Three life birds easily observed from a seated position at a picnic table:

  • Yes indeed.  I drove up the mountain, walked into the snack bar and out the back end onto the deck and picnic tables overlooking both the wonderful view and the many feeders.  Three life birds immediately in one sitting.

Common in their respective environments:

  • Noted below, there are three species in this one genus on the ABA checklist.  Various field guides indicate that they are common in their respective environments.

Three common suit colors:

  • Well, a bit of a stretch here.  Think gray, black and brown … GRAY-CROWNED, BLACK, and BROWN-CAPPED ROSY-FINCHES.

The only three species of this genus on the ABA checklist:

  • Yes.

None of these birds are on the New York State checklist:

  • None of the Rosy-Finches are on the NYS checklist.

QUESTION: What does “watermelon” have to do with this quiz?

The Rosy-Finches can often be seen all together in separate flocks at the feeders at the top of Sandia Crest, outside of Albuquerque, NM.  Sandia Crest is a well-traveled destination in the area, the view is spectacular, there is a ski resort, and the world’s longest tramway.  Sandi Crest was named because when viewed from below, it is the color of watermelon, or “sandia” in Spanish.

  • I highly recommend visiting this lovely location.  I hear that the purveyors of the snack bar pay to keep the feeders going, so a thanks and a purchase probably help keep the feeders going.
  • When I Google the term “Rosy-Finch”, the first resultant link is “Rosy-Finches at Sandia Crest, New Mexico”.  No surprise.

EXTRA CREDIT:

How many times does the following three letter word appear in this post?

The 1st letter is the last letter of the name of the specific location.

  • Sandia Crest – T

The 2nd letter is the last letter of the name of all three of these species (in English).

  • Rosy-finch – H

The 3rd letter is the last letter of the genus name (Latin).

  • Leucosticte – E

And so the Extra Credit word is “the”, which appears 20 times in the blog post.

Next quiz, Jan 1, 2011.  Happy New Year!

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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.