Birding Skills

Finding and Identifying Stejneger’s Scoter in Alaska

Stejneger’s Scoter is the Siberian counterpart of White-winged Scoter, only recently recognized as a separate species. The two species are very similar in all respects, and only adult males can be identified readily in the field. Stejneger’s is considered a very rare visitor to western Alaska, but my experience in Nome in 2021 suggests that …

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Quiz on estimating numbers – flocks in flight

Clicking on any image will open the full size image in a new window, so you can study the larger size and then return to the quiz – still in progress – in this window. Thanks to Martin Reid for allowing the use of his photos (and for counting the birds in each one!).

Quiz on Belizean Birds and Greater Coverts

Find the Greater Secondary Coverts These are some of my digiscoped photos from a recent trip to Belize, all taken at the fantastic Black Rock Lodge. On each photo body parts are labeled with letters, and your challenge is to identify the greater secondary coverts on each bird. Good luck!

Quiz 52: More numbers

Here are three more “flocks” of lentils that need to be estimated. If you need an extra challenge, give yourself a time limit to come up with each number.

Juvenal plumage of songbirds: Gray Catbird

Most Passerines only hold juvenal plumage for a few weeks, quickly molting to a more adult-like plumage soon after they fledge and before fall migration. It’s a plumage that is seen almost entirely on the breeding grounds, but the breeding grounds (and fledging time) of many birds overlaps broadly with the fall migration of others, …

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