Click image to enlarge.

So, we go from a bird flying away (in last month’s quiz) to a neck-breaking view of a different bird. Given the comparison in size with that of the various branches and leaves, we should surmise that April’s quiz bird is fairly wee. That first assessment should take the non-passerines out of contention, particularly in combination with the underparts streaking. The long, narrow bill rules out all of the various families of seed-eating birds, which sport short, thick bills (the better to crack your seeds with, my Dear): finches (Fringillidae), New World sparrows (Passerellidae), the cardinalids (Cardinalidae), and the Old World sparrows (Passeridae). Thus, our first cut got rid of the front half of the field guide, while the second cut eliminates the back quarter or so of the field guide. The task of identifying this month’s quiz bird should be a relative piece of cake from this point.

What species is this?

Photos and answers are supplied by Tony Leukering, a field ornithologist based in southeast Colorado, with strong interests in bird migration, distribution, and identification. He has worked for five different bird observatories from coast to coast and considers himself particularly adept at taking quiz photos (that is, bad pictures!). Leukering is a member of the Colorado Bird Records Committee and had been a reviewer for eBird since its inception. He is also interested in most everything else that flies, particularly moths and odonates.