Monday, April 16, 2012

Quiz #445 (2012-2-03) Solution

Click on picture(s) for a larger view.

Solution by Burke Angstman and Tony Leukering

This week's quiz birds seemed to scare off some respondents, as seabirds often do. The all-black bodies with extensive white wing patch really leaves us only two options: the two guillemot species. In British nomenclature, "guillemot" is a more-encompassing alcid group, including what are called murres on this side of the Pond, where we limit the term to the two members of the genus Cepphus. Once there, though often tricky in reality, particularly in flight, a static picture, particularly this one, makes our ID endeavors a bit more straightforward. Though succinct, Burke Angstman provided a response with all we need know to identify these two birds. Take it away, Burke!

"The bird on the left does not have the white underwing of the Black Guillemot and the bird on the right shows the dark bar across the white coverts, each feature indicating Pigeon Guillemot."

Thanks, Burke. I took this picture of two alternate-plumaged Pigeon Guillemots off Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara Co., CA, on 1 March 2009.

Incorrect species provided as answers:
Black Guillemot - 1

Congratulations to the 18 of 19 getting the quiz correct:
Tyler Bell
Patty McKelvey
Ben Coulter
Richard Jeffers
George Cresswell
Pam Myers
Su Snyder
Robert McNab
Logan Kahle
Thomas Hall
Peter Wilkinson
Margie Joy
Bryan Guarente
Marcel Such
Sean Walters
Stuart Hopper & Jack Rozecki
Burke Angstman
Chishun Kwong
Answer: Pigeon Guillemot