As always, the “Just for Fun Avian ID Quiz” is brought to you by Jory Langner, our esteemed Avian Quizmaster.
It’s Saturday. That means it’s time for the answer to Wednesday’s “Just For Fun Avian ID Quiz #9”.
Congratulations to all who attempted and answered this quiz. It seems that everyone had the correct species in mind. John, Jason, Noflickster, Grant (with a little help from his friends) and Paul.
Paul, seeing as you had the correct answers for #2 and #4, my guess is that you had it spot on. And what did you mean by “partial migrant”?
My thought was that the only clue you would need is clue #2. And if you have a twisted enough brain, then clue #5 was also sufficient all by itself. Clues #3 and #4 were meant to “befuddle”, as so aptly put by Paul.
Let’s go through the questions one by one. If I’ve missed something or gotten something wrong, I’m sure you’ll leave a comment!
1. Some other species you might have on your day list are Fox Sparrow, Wrentit, California Thrasher and Sage Sparrow.
A start. We can determine that this is a western bird.
2. “Finger painted by a toddler”?
The actual quote from Pete Dunn’s Essential Field Guide Companion is “the bold white slashes along the flanks (which make the bird look like it was finger-painted by a toddler)”.
3. Earlier this year, a half dozen eggs of this species sold for about $50.
Do NOT let my daughters know about this…but I’m sure Mike’s kids would love a few.
I clearly worked backwards from the answer to get this clue. I was surprised that I could purchase eggs and raise a flock of them. Not a great clue, but I think it does lead one to birds that mostly walk…chickens, turkeys and quail-like birds. I might be mistaken on this though, not having researched egg-selling laws.
4. A Pete Dunn field mark from afar is eerily similar to a song sung by Smokey Robinson and The Miracles (1965), covered famously by Linda Ronstadt (1976) and is ranked #50 on Rolling Stone’s list of The 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.
Another great quote from Pete Dunn is “the white border to the throat patch (which looks like the track of a tear down the bird’s face)”. A clue reflects its author, and I grew up with the song “The Tracks of My Tears”, both versions.
5. In the vein of “things you learned while searching for something else”…being that I live in the US and last week was Thanksgiving, I had recently been researching Wild Turkey.
If you remember last week’s quiz, the answer was Mountain Quail. A minor point is that I did, in fact, come across the beautiful Mountain Quail while researching Wild Turkey as they are within a few pages of each other in numerous field guides.
So the target species this week is the same as last week, Mountain Quail.
The question was “what is interesting about this species migration?” The answers were great …
– migrate on foot
– migration is altitudinal (which was where I was going with this quiz)
– apparently use ravines in the fall and use ridge tops in the spring
Here are two additional details I picked up along the way:
– Artificially reared chicks are prone to toe picking (I can make up some good clues about this!).
– It is the fastest quail afoot.
Thanks again for the great answers and stay tuned for the next quiz!
The main references I’ve used in this quiz are:
Pete Dunn’s Essential Field Guide Companion by Pete Dunn
The Sibley Guide to Birds by David Allen Sibley
Wikipedia for information on the song, “The Tracks Of My Tears”
Thanks for the credit, but I must admit to being wrong. What I had in mind was Northern Flicker.
Someone (maybe Roger Peterson? I believe he credited this woodpecker as his “trigger bird”) described it as “something a child might paint” because of its quirky polyglot of patterns and color patches. Also, I was thinking of the line “My smile looks out of place” from Tracks of My Tears as a reference to the black, smile-shaped amulet on the Flicker’s breast. As for “partial” migration: Northern Northern Flickers tend to migrate south or to lower elevations for the winter, while Southern Northern Flickers don’t migrate at all (say that 10 times fast).
Congratulations to the real winners!
Pretty good! Almost a perfect fit. You got the right song and the conspicuous coloration. I did a quick check online and couldn’t find any references to the legal selling of eggs thought.