Ready to see if you were correct? See how your guesses match up with ABA Young Birder Blog Student Editor Tristan Weinbrenner!
1. July 26, 2011, Estes Park, Boulder County, CO. Photo by Sam Fason.
Here we have a small passerine, most likely in the family Paridae. Based on range we can rule out the Titmice, which leaves us with either Mountain or Black-capped Chickadee. It seems to have little white on the primary feathers, making me think Mountain Chickadee. The bill seems very thin and straight, something not often found in the stubby, upturned-billed Black-capped. So that leaves me with Mountain Chickadee.
2. December 31, 2011, Granger Lake, Williamson County, Texas. Photo by Sam Fason.
Here we have what looks to be a small passerine in flight, reminding me of a longspur or a lark by impression. The wings do not look right for Horned Lark. By range, all longspurs can be found in this area of Texas in the winter, so that does not rule out much. I don’t think this looks right for Smith’s, McCown’s, or Chestnut-collared. The tail looks good for Lapland, so that is my answer: Lapland Longspur.
3. January 2, 2012, Baton Rouge, LA. Photo by Alex Haun.
Obviously we have a Passerine, seemingly of the family Emberizidae. It also looks to be of the genus Melospiza, consisting of Song, Swamp, and Lincoln’s Sparrows. I am thinking Lincoln’s based on the buffy eye-ring and the light bluish-gray face. The primaries and secondaries also look good for Lincoln’s Sparrow, which is my final answer.
4. July 28, 2009, Jacksonville, FL. Photo by Liam Wolff.
We see a large wading bird, from either the genus Egretta or Ardea. The legs rule out the white morph of the Great Blue Heron, along with Tricolored and Little Blue herons. The bill rules out Great and Snowy egrets, leaving us with Reddish Egret. The range, bi-colored bill, and large overall size also help confirm this. The color seems a little off for just a white morph, so I would call this an intergrade white/dark morph bird.