Monday, March 29, 2010
Click the picture for a larger view.
Answer by Tony Leukering and Peter Burke
For the last quiz of the quarter, we're looking straight up at an oriole and we cannot see any of those crucial head, back, and wing details that we all rely upon so much. As one might suspect, I took this picture specifically for this venue!
This is actually not all that rare of a view of woodland birds and most of us would probably wait until we could obtain a view of some other part of the bird. But, the bird may simply fly off when our heads are turned to listen better to something that attracted our attention. Granted, in most of the ABA area that supports orioles (most of it does NOT), there is a default orange oriole and we'd probably be safe identifying the bird as such. But, just because anything else would be rare, doesn't necessarily make our ID correct, and that's really the important thing. Thus, we're back to a common theme of the Mr. Bill Mystery Quiz -- learn the common birds cold!
The strong orange color eliminates a lot of the oriole possibilities and the extensive orange on the underside of the tail gets rid of most of the rest, leaving us with just Baltimore, Bullock's, and hybrids between the two. In fact, the tail pattern would have eliminated all of the non-orange orioles, too. Once we're studying the tail, there's really only one decision to make, and Peter Burke summed it up, nicely:
"Who knew that all of the Orioles have black tails except Bullock's & Baltimore? And that it's just Bullock's that sports a black tip like our quiz bird."
I took this picture of an adult male Bullock's Oriole at Chico Basin Ranch, El Paso Co., CO, but I don't recall when (in spring, though). You see, in the failure of my jump drive shortly after putting this picture up, I lost -- as far as I can find -- the original of the picture and the second picture showing just a bit of the face that I was planning on using in the answer. I should have other copies elsewhere, but without knowing the date (or, even, year), it's a crapshoot as to whether I find it or not.
One respondent's answer was precluded from being correct for the competition as it omitted the apostrophe.
Aaron Brees and Al Guarente tied with perfect scores (13 of 13) for bragging rights in this, the first quarter's competition of 2010. A flip of the coin selects the winner of the prize, which is... [drum roll, please]
Congrats, Al. You will receive a one-year membership to CFO, in which included is a one-year subscription to our wonderful journal, Colorado Birds.
Incorrect species provided as answers:
Baltimore Oriole - 3
Baltimore x Bullock's Oriole - 1
Orchard Oriole - 1
Congratulations to the 24 of 29 getting the quiz correct:
Answer: Bullock's Oriole