Bird topography

Quiz 9: More on Head feathers

Here is a close-up of the head of a Song Sparrow, showing the feather groups and feather markings really well. In the copy below, I’ve outlined the feather groups, so that you can test your knowledge in the quiz that follows.

A quiz on bird wing feathers

The major groups of feathers on the wing are showing well on this American Robin, and each is labeled with a letter. In the quiz below, select the letter that matches the feather group named in that question.

Distinguishing Green-winged and Common Teal

The Green-winged Teal (known as Common Teal in English-speaking parts of Eurasia) is currently considered a single species by the AOU, but two subspecies are distinctive in adult male plumage and are split into two species by many authorities. Green-winged Teal (American) – Anas crecca carolinensis Common Teal (Eurasian) – Anas crecca crecca ((Common Teal nests in …

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Sparrows and central spots

Can you identify the sparrow shown in this photo? Read on for the discussion and answer below. Thanks to Jerry Tang for the photo and for bringing it to my attention. You can see more of his photos at