ABA Photo Quiz
with Tony Leukering

September 2023 Photo Quiz

September 18th, 2023|

Individual birds clinging to a tree in this bird’s manner are frequently woodpeckers but could be any of a number of species, some of which do not habitually perch in this fashion. The seemingly large patch of white on what might be the wings rules out Brown Creeper and various nuthatch species among the relatively few inveterate bark-clinging ABA-Area bird species. That white patch also rules out various species that I have seen irregularly or rarely engaging in bark-clinging behavior such as flycatchers, vireos, jays, warblers, and even sparrows.

Advanced Identification

Mexican Duck Photo Essay

The Mexican Duck, Anas platyrhynchos diazi, was recognized as a full species (then A. diazi) until the American Ornithological Society (AOS; then AOU) merged it with the Mallard (AOU 1983), largely based on data from Hubbard (1977). However, recent genetic studies strongly suggest that the Mexican Duck should be returned to full species status. These photos are intended to provide a realistic overview of the challenge of identifying Mexican Ducks in the ABA Area.

Status & Distribution: the Most Under-used ID Feature

This feature is not something that is only just coming to light, nor is it related to the introduction of digital cameras, nor is it due to the internet—although the internet has enabled a more thorough understanding of it. This incredible identification feature is temporal likelihood, aka time of year.