Monday, May 28, 2012

Quiz #451 (2012-2-09) Solution

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Solution by Tony Leukering

The quiz bird's thin bill, underparts streaking, and extensive white on the outermost rectrices (R6s) -- including the outer web, should send us straight to the pipits (most warblers with extensive white in the R6s have that white on the inner web). Our bird's strong and flaring lateral throat stripe reduces our options to American, Olive-backed, and Red-throated pipits. While many American Pipits lack such strong lateral throat stripes, some sport such, so the species remains in the mix. Red-throated Pipit can be eliminated by our bird's long tail and underparts streaking that is not black enough for that species. Olive-backed Pipit would also show blacker streaking in addition to a whiter ground color on much of the underparts, as well as a more-distinct and whiter superciliary.

I took this picture of a basic-plumaged American Pipit at San Diego, San Diego Co., CA, on 7 October 2011.

We've got a real pressure-cooker going in this quarter's competition, with three respondents tied with perfect 9-of-9 scores: Ben Coulter, Bryan Guarente, and Robert McNab. Five others are right on their heels with 8 correct responses.

Incorrect species provided as answers:
Vesper Sparrow - 1
Red-throated Pipit - 1
Sprague's Pipit - 2
Blackpoll Warbler - 1

Congratulations to the 20 of 25 getting the quiz correct:
Kelly Morrissey
Peter Wilkinson
Tyler Bell
Thomas Hall
Margaret Smith
Patty McKelvey
Su Snyder
Al Guarente
Logan Kahle
Kirk Huffstater
Ben Coulter
Richard Jeffers
Rhonda Kelly
Robert McNab
Margie Joy
Bryan Guarente
Sean Walters
Marcel Such
Joel Such
Joe Bens

Answer: American Pipit