As always, the “Just for Fun Avian ID Quiz” is brought to you by Jory Langner, our esteemed Avian Quizmaster.  A word of warning before you scroll down and try this quiz: Jory is just back from the southwestern United States and it seems like he caught some excess sun (that, or maybe he was experimenting with peyote!?!).  You’ll see why we here at 10,000 Birds are concerned when you start reading the clues (we’re not sure that the quiz really has an answer, but I guess we’ll find out by Friday).

This week’s quiz is short and obscure.  Rules remain the same…try to guess in as few clues as possible what regularly occurring bird in the ABA area (Code 1-3) is being described.

A new twist, however, the answer and discussion will be posted this coming Friday rather than Saturday.  All those extra days don’t seem to matter all that much, since your answers come flying in quickly.

For this quiz, a hint is in order.  For those of you who have followed the quiz from the beginning, you might remember how this quiz was created.  It came during the Muckrace, when Corey and Mike invited me and Will to join them in the 24 hour big day competition at Montezuma in upstate NY.  I was having some fun reading key sentences out of field guides and seeing if my three co-Muckracers could guess the species.  This quiz came as a result of that game.  I use birding references (books, the internet, etc) to create each quiz.  This week, however, I’ve obfuscated the clues horribly.

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

1. If you were birding in the 1940’s or before, this species wouldn’t count on your official year list.

2. This is NOT going to help…Shirley!   Shirley, Shirley bo Birley Bonana fanna fo Firley Fee fy mo Mirley, Shirley!

3. Shhhh.

4. Young’uns have tertials and scapulars?

5. No sub-species.


What is this species?


What is “Alternate Plumage” and why is it considered “alternate”?

Good Luck!  And stay tuned for the answer.

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.