[CT Birds] Fw: Re: quiz - The Answer

Mark S. Szantyr Birddog55 at charter.net
Sun Aug 29 22:45:02 EDT 2010


Well put Greg but I think I must differ with you on the notion of the first 
photo being misleading.  There was enough info visible to make a correct 
identification and the bird was in a normal posture that is regularly 
encountered if you look at the species enough.  I think the most misleading 
aspect of the excercise was the widespread act of accepting an immediate 
impression of what it was without backing up the conclusion with a critical 
study of all the physical characters of the bird.  We are all guilty of this 
at some time in our lives but,. luckily, we rarely get caught doing it. This 
was fun and this is likely not the end of this discussion...I hope.

Mark
Mark S. Szantyr
80 Bicknell Road #9
Ashford, Connecticut 06278
USA

1-860-487-9766
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "greg hanisek" <ctgregh at yahoo.com>
To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
Sent: Sunday, August 29, 2010 7:29 PM
Subject: [CT Birds] Fw: Re: quiz - The Answer


As most (or many or some) of you have realized after I posted the second 
photo, the bird is a juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird. This kind of photo quiz 
is fun and proves primarily how difficult it can be to identify a bird from 
a single photo, especially one as misleading as Mark's first shot.

It was interesting that most of the incorrect responses hinged on broad 
interpretation of the image. Size and posture started viewers down a wrong 
path, and once you start in a wrong direction it's hard to reverse course. 
Because the bird was perceived as large, and it's erect posture was 
perceived as it's normal posture, many people suggested it was a cormorant, 
a night-heron, a duck (specifically juv Green-winged Teal) or a raptor.

The quiz was doubly tricky because juvenile Brown-headed Cowbird, even when 
seen well, routinely trips up birders that aren't very familiar with the 
species in that plumage. There's an Audubon painting in which juv cowbird is 
labeled "Ambiguous Sparrow." David Irons, a migratory bird expert with the 
U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, has gone so far as to call it "the most 
misidentified bird in North America."

As far as getting the first image right, I'd say a close look at the bird's 
feet help turn the viewer away from the big bird-waterbird-raptor path and 
point toward it being a passerine. If any of the 4 of you who immediately 
got this right would like to post on your thought process, I'm sure others 
would be interested.

Greg Hanisek
Waterbury


--- On Sat, 8/28/10, Greg Hanisek <ghanisek at rep-am.com> wrote:


From: Greg Hanisek <ghanisek at rep-am.com>
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] quiz - solution (sort of)
To: ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org
Date: Saturday, August 28, 2010, 8:33 PM


The answers to the quiz were all over the lot. I'll say more about them 
eventually, but for now I've replaced the original quize photo with a 
different view of the bird which should clear things up considerably. You 
still have to name it though. Four people did based on the original photo.

http://blogs.rep-am.com/nature/2010/08/27/quiz-maybe-not-a-fair-one/

Greg Hanisek
Waterbury


----- Original Message ----- From: "Greg Hanisek" <ghanisek at rep-am.com>
To: "Greg Hanisek" <ghanisek at rep-am.com>
Sent: Friday, August 27, 2010 8:38 PM
Subject: Re: [CT Birds] quiz - update


> I've gotten quite an array of answers to the photo quiz. I won't say 
> anything about that array at the moment but I promised a hint. Here's one 
> (such as it is):
>
> David B. Irons, who works in migratory bird management for the U.S. Fish & 
> Wildlife Service, has called this "the most misidentified bird in North 
> America."
>
> Actually, Mark told me Mr. Irons said this, so he's responsible for both 
> the photo and the clue. If you haven't checked it out, the link is below. 
> If you're up for an answer, e-mail it to me, rather than posting it on the 
> blog.
>
> Greg Hanisek
>
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "Greg Hanisek" <ghanisek at rep-am.com>
> To: <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org>
> Sent: Thursday, August 26, 2010 10:18 PM
> Subject: [CT Birds] quiz - maybe not a fair one
>
>
>> Try your luck/skill
>>
>>
>> Greg Hanisek
>> Waterbury
>> _______________________________________________
>> This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) 
>> for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
>> For subscription information visit 
>> http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
>>
>>
>
>
>
>




_______________________________________________
This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) 
for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit 
http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org
_______________________________________________
This list is provided by the Connecticut Ornithological Association (COA) 
for the discussion of birds and birding in Connecticut.
For subscription information visit 
http://lists.ctbirding.org/mailman/listinfo/ctbirds_lists.ctbirding.org





More information about the CTBirds mailing list