Monday, February 13, 2012
Click on picture(s) for a larger view.
Solution by Tony Leukering
Many respondents may have considered this quiz pretty simple, though it didn't turn out that way. The picture's focus is on the very large, long-winged bird coming right at us. All respondents got to pelican and most noted the brown wings and pale belly of an immature Brown Pelican. Note also that the innermost remiges (seen on the bird's right wing) are dark, not white. Unfortunately, five respondents quit there; at least, five submitted only one species in their answers. There is another bird in the picture and I here repeat part of Rule #4:
"Should an individual quiz present multiple species, only those persons responding with all correct identifications AND with no incorrect identifications will get credit for a correct answer for purposes of the competition."
Yes, the second bird is not in focus and is quite distant, but it is certainly identifiable. The hint of orange-red on the bill, the brown wing coverts, blackish wingtips, whitish rump, whitish trailing edge to the secondaries, and the all-dark tail are the key features that identify this subadult Heermann's Gull. American Oystercatcher has white in the wing, but it is at the bases of the remiges, not the tips. Additionally, that species has blacker wings, a white-based tail, and a longer bill. I took this picture of youngsters of both Brown Pelican and Heermann's Gull off San Diego, San Diego Co., CA, on 8 October 2011.
Incorrect species provided as answers:
American Oystercatcher - 5
American White Pelican - 1
Congratulations to the 16 of 27 getting the quiz correct:
Answer: Brown Pelican, Heermann's Gull