As always, the “Just for Fun Avian ID Quiz” is brought to you by Jory Langner, our esteemed Avian Quizmaster.  This quiz will not have an answer post, because, well, it really doesn’t need one. And if you don’t know what bird Jory is describing here, well, go back through the last week of posts here on 10,000 Birds.

Last week, no electricity meant no quiz.  I live outside of Albany NY where we had an ice storm.  Tens of thousands of homes and businesses had no electricity for many days, hence last week’s quiz went missing.  And we froze for a few days.

Now on to the quiz.

Rules are the same: ABA codes 1-3 only, the questions that need to be answered are at the end of the list of clues.  The answer will be posted in a few days.


  • Both Corey and Rich, the people I called on Thursday while watching this bird, asked for pictures, knowing full well that I don’t have a camera.
  • Corey is quite jealous that I’ve seen this bird.  He has a great camera and takes great pictures.
  • Rich has already seen this species in NY before and didn’t accompany me.  He also has a great camera and takes great pictures.
  • I understand that this species is fairly common on its home turf.  However it rarely comes to NY, it comes by itself, and is not recorded each year here.  So this bird is big news in our area, especially for those birders with cameras.
  • Very bright yellow eyes.  If I had a camera, the pictures I would have taken would have shown this feature quite well.
  • Once it’s here, it usually stays for most of the winter.  So if I actually do get a camera and I’m lucky enough, I might be able to return and take some of my own pictures.
  • Originally spotted on Tuesday, people from hundreds of miles away have already seen this bird, taken pictures of it and posted them on the internet.
  • It’s easily seen.  Even through the viewfinder of a camera.
  • My guess is that local residents have problems with small rodents.  I’d bet those residents don’t take pictures of the rodents.
  • The ever-pithy Pete Dunn says “(it) sits, like a Christmas tree ornament, at the very tip of stunted spruce trees.”  Now who doesn’t take pictures at Christmas?
  • My brother has not seen this bird and probably has never birded.  He often pokes fun at me for birding.  Yet even he is urging me to purchase a camera.  Probably to take pictures of things which do not include birds.

QUESTION: What camera would you suggest that I buy?  My inclination is towards something small enough to fit in my pocket and is great for taking pictures of birds (probably with a very powerful optical zoom and with sufficient megapixels).

Oh, I almost forgot…BONUS QUESTION:  Without giving away the species, give a pertinent fact or story you have of this species.


After long discussions plus some additional research with others, a much more knowledgeable and scientifically adept friend has verified that the questions and answers given in the quiz from two weeks ago on bird respiration were basically correct.  Although there are some additional details, which I won’t delve into here.  If anyone is interested in further information, feel free to drop me an email at langnerj AT

One additional thing I’ve learned is that it seems birds get oxygen into their lungs on both inhalation and exhalation.

Cheers, good birding, and good breathing.

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.