December 2021 Photo Quiz

Tony Leukering
Fairborn, OH

Where’s the bird? Ah, there it is. This is something of a different quiz photo.

Yes, it is, to make a certain point: One does not necessarily need to see a bird all that well to be able to identify it. However, to do so, one does need to understand plumages and their progression in various species, as well as how those various plumages differ from those of similar species.

While the whiteness below and the black wing tip might suggest one of the large white-headed gulls, the broad hand to the wing and a wing tip with five fingers should rule out those options. From this point, there’s not much other than raptors that make for any sort of reasonable match for our quiz bird.

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.