by Tristan Weinbrenner
Ready for the answers to last week's photo quiz? Read on for a walk through with The Eyrie Student Blog Editor Tristan Weinbrenner and see if your guesses were correct!
Bird A: Barton Co., Kansas, October 1, 2011
This bird is medium-sized, with long, pointed, gull- or tern-like wings. It appears to have a thin, pointed bill, but at this angle this is not a rock-solid field mark. Its tail is not forked or rounded, but straight. This tells me that it is not a tern of the genus Sterna. It could be a Black Tern, but I think it would need more gray on the underside of the wing. This leaves us with gulls. By range, only Franklin’s, Bonaparte’s, Ring-billed, and Herring gulls commonly occur in Kansas in the month of October. This bird seems relatively clean, removing juvenile Ring-billed and Herring gulls. Only Franklin’s has the black legs and feet of this bird, so that leaves me with Franklin’s Gull.
Bird B: Barton Co., Kansas, October 1, 2011
This bird is also a medium-sized bird, and from the overall shape it looks also like it is a gull. Its bi-color, pink and black bill points towards what many call the white-headed gulls. Only Ring-billed and Herring gulls are commonly found in Kansas. This appears to be a smaller gull and the bill does not seem massive enough to be a Herring Gull, leaving us with Ring-billed Gull.
Bird C: Marion Co., Kansas, October 15, 2011
This bird is relatively small, chickadee-sized by the look of it. It is a very dark shade of yellow, with very dark under tail coverts. This brings us to vireos and warblers. It is very dark for the vireos that commonly occur in Kansas in the fall. Of the warblers that come to Kansas in the fall, only Nashville, Yellow, and Orange-crowned fit this bird. The plumage seems to drab for a Yellow or a Nashville warbler, so that leaves us with Orange-crowned Warbler.