April 2023 Photo Quiz

Tony Leukering
Dodge City, KS

With this quiz photo, April seems to be setting up as raptorial-thing month in the ABA Photo Quiz. If I remember, perhaps that will continue next year.

The color pattern immediately rules out all ABA-Area vulture species and falcon species, including Crested Caracara, leaving us with the large and varied Accipitriformes. The long, wide wings and shortish tail rule out accipiters, the relatively short wings (I know, I know, but comparison terms are always ad hoc, not permanent things) rule out eagles and the peripatetic Osprey. Wing shape rules out the various kites, though one needs to be more careful with Snail and Hook-billed kites. The Great Fooler (thanks for the term, Mr. Dunne), Northern Harrier, is ruled out by the width of the wings and length of the tail… and by plumage. That should leave us with just the various and variable buteonine hawks (Buteo and other more-or-less related genera placed near that genus in the current taxonomic order).

I pause here to present a Community Service bulletin.

If one has seen a buteonine hawk that might be a Red-tailed or might be a White-tailed, one cannot enter that bird into eBird using the “Buteo sp.” entry, as the latter species is no longer housed in that genus. One now needs to use the “hawk sp.” entry.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled program. [Does network TV still present such ads?]

What species is represented here?

Photos and answers are supplied by Tony Leukering, a field ornithologist based in southeast Dodge City, KS, 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.