Click photo to enlarge.

While many of us would get lost in the rufous aspect to the primaries of this month’s quiz bird, perhaps also the white in the secondaries, the initial critical aspect of this bird’s identification lies in noting its feet. Feet (and the rest of the legs) seem to get short shrift from birders, and I don’t fully understand why. Particulars of the feet often provide one of the first decision points on the ID of a bird, allowing us to place it in the appropriate group, whether that group is an order or a family, even a genus. Additionally, leg color provides an excellent ID clue in a large number of birds, at least allowing for removal of possible ID contenders from consideration in the solution set.

Please submit the correct Common or English name exactly as it appears in the ABA Checklist.

What species is this? 

Photos and answers are supplied by Tony Leukering, a freelance ornithologist based in the Tampa Bay area, with strong interests in bird migration, distribution, and identification. He has worked for four 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 reviews Colorado and Wyoming eBird data. He is also interested in most everything else that flies, particularly moths and odonates.