Here’s a quick birding quiz for your Tuesday. The answer will be revealed later today when I post the most recent For the Birds column. Hint: With winter approaching, people throughout New England are seeing different visitors at their feeders as birds “irrupt” from the north and west.
At second look, maybe this one wasn’t so easy. The most popular answers — chickadee and titmouse — are indeed common backyard feeder birds, so they are good guesses. It also does look like a blue jay — the third-most common answer — as it’s hard to gauge how large the bird is in the photo.
Only 10 percent of participants got it right: white-breasted nuthatch. The giveaway is coloration (although it shares blue, black and white with blue jay), especially the rusty red feathers exposed as it flies. Of the options given, it is is only bird that features that rusty red.
The photo above was taken a few seconds before the one of the nuthatch flying off.
My birding quizzes are sometimes easy, sometimes hard and sometimes in the middle. I would rank this one as a tough one. If I weren’t at the scene I doubt I would have come up with the answer. Oh well, there’s no cost to play, no prizes for winners and no penalty for wrong guesses.
Email, tweet, Facebook or comment here with your guess. Thanks for playing along.
Quick hint: Yes, it is a bird found in New England. Also, to be fair since there is no real size perspective, it is about the size of a robin. I’ll drop more hints today and tomorrow.
I should know better than to try to fool my viewers. Once again you passed the birding quiz with flying colors as 56 percent of you got the right answer. It is a female Rose-breasted Grosbeak. It it colored nothing like the flashy male, but the overall shape and bill size and shape are similar to the male.
A female Common Yellowthroat seen at Terrywile Park in Danbury, Conn, Sept. 2016.
Pat yourselves on the back because the selection with the most votes was the bird in question. The photo is of a Common Yellowthroat. The trick was that it is a female bird seen in the fall. When most people think of Common Yellowthroats they think of the male with its handsome masked face. Like many bird species, the female Common Yellowthroat is more drably plumaged than the male. Good job everyone!