Those birding in wooded and forested areas encounter views like this far too often: A bird overhead straining one’s balance ability and with the bird extensively hidden by vegetation. This is a situation in which experience and knowledge help tremendously, as they can help slap a correct name on many a bird of which the typical, well-known field marks are hidden. The take-home message? Learn much more about birds than one or two key field marks.

If anyone is having difficulty determining which way the quiz bird is facing, note the legs and how they are positioned. To identify the bird, the bird’s perch location and details of foot structure rule out all ABA-Area bird orders other than Passeriformes. Another clue: Leg color rules out a lot of options. A minority, yes, but still a lot. A final clue: The length of foot visible – and that IS foot, not any other part of the leg – rules out swallows, which are very short-legged… er… short-footed.