August 2023 Photo Quiz

Tony Leukering
Dodge City, KS
greatgrayowl@aol.com

A bit of an odd little bird this month and one that would be, perhaps, more readily identified if the quiz were a video rather than a static photo.

There is not much choice but to comb through the various species of ABA-Area shorebirds, and August is certainly a good month for those in most or all of the ABA Area. Distinctive features include…. Hmm, maybe I’ll leave determining those to the quiz takers. I will say, however, that one of those distinctive features is frequently overlooked when misidentifying this species for another (I will return to this at the very end of the solution).

The bird’s bill length immediately rules out all ABA-Area species of plover and the various odder shorebird species such as oystercatchers, stilts, avocets, and thick-knees. In fact, the various features of the bird place it solidly within the Scolopacidae, the sandpipers, many of which do NOT have “sandpiper” in their names.

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.