January Bird Quiz

I’ve been posting my little bird quizzes for several years now, and it’s time for a change. This year, instead of showing you a bird and asking you to identify it, I’m going to show you part of a bird and ask you to identify it.

Aren’t I nice?

I’m just trying to be realistic. How often do you get to see an entire bird? Too many times the bird is hiding in the bushes, or on the wrong side of the tree, and all we get is a glimpse. This way, you’ll get practice in the practical challenges of birdwatching. See, I’m being helpful.

Here’s an example—can you name this bird?


If you’ve been paying attention to the birds for any length of time, it shouldn’t be too hard to recognize this as a Blue Jay. Here is the complete photo:


Of course, I intend to make the rest of the pictures a bit harder than that one, but as usual, not too hard. We’ll leave the nearly impossible IDs for the experts, and I promise you that I’m no expert. Enthusiastic, yes. Not completely clueless. But definitely not a “power birder” like some folks I know.

I suppose I still need to tell you where I took the photo. Truthfully, that information isn’t as helpful as you might think. Remember, last month I saw a Purple Sandpiper in Colorado! I have no hesitation including vagrants and rarities. They happen, and we should be prepared to recognize them.

There’s one other change. I will post the entire photo on Saturday. That will give you another chance to ID the bird. Then on Monday I’ll put the correct ID at the end of that day’s post. I do not plan any more explanations, however. I think we’ve covered that topic thoroughly.

I hope you have as much fun naming these birds as I had photographing them in the first place!

Let’s get started with something relatively easy.  Here’s January’s quiz bird:


I saw this bird in Colorado, in December.




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