Monday, June 7, 2010
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The picture was taken in New Jersey.
Answer by Tony Leukering
For the second week in a row, we have a poor, misunderstood adult Red-tailed Hawk being mobbed by some annoying, aggressive passerine! Perhaps interesting to you is that the individual hawk may very well be the same bird in the two quizzes! That is because this is one of the resident pair at the Villas WMA, Cape May Co., NJ, (here in early May 2010) and it rarely is able to make a pass over the area without attracting attention from those vicious passerines. Poor thing.
I know that I may have jumped the gun on identifying one of the birds in the quiz, but, hey, that's my prerogative as quizmeister. We can rule out Ferruginous Hawk, many of which can show at least something of a reddish tail, by the fact that our quiz bird lacks any obvious bit of wing panel (window), a feature that Ferruginous always shows and which only juvenile Red-tailed Hawks do.
The black bird may cause more problems. However, this quiz had something of a different focus than most others that I've conducted, as it was intended as a test of retention. That is, I wanted to see whether the regular respondents would remember the details of the solution for the last time that I ran a quiz crow. (Yes, we can rule out Common Raven by the bird's lack of a wedge-shaped tail and by its too-round wings. We can also rule out Northwestern and Tamaulipas crows by the caveat in red, above.)
Back in June 2009, I ran Mr. Bill Mystery Quiz #305. Many of the regulars that provided explanation of how they got to their answer this week noted that previous quiz. Unfortunately, some respondents did not, but most of those still got the this week's quiz correct. After perusing that previous quiz, one can see that this week's crow must be an American Crow, due to the obvious six fingers.
Incorrect species provided as answers:
Great Blue Heron - 1
Fish Crow - 3
Congratulations to the 12 of 15 getting the quiz correct:
Answer: Red-tailed Hawk, American Crow