Friday, January 11, 2008

Are You A Birder?

Remember Susan's "You Might Be A Birder...." quiz back on Dec. 3rd? That was a lot of fun and I answered "yes" to most of the questions. Now here's another quiz for you.

I was reading the essay "The Passionate Flock" in the Jan/Feb 2008 Audubon magazine this morning. In that article it says that a survey of Americans who watch birds is somewhere between 46 and 67 million! However, there's a disclaimer saying that these surveys "count as a birder anyone who tosses sunflower seeds for the juncos." The article goes on to say that a better way to define "birder" would be the number of people who can identify more than 20 species of birds (this drops the number down to only 6 million) or even those folks who would be able to ID 100 species (narrowing the group called "birder" to a few hundred thousand).

So I got to thinking about this article and wondering to myself how many of us consider ourselves "birders" and I decided to come up with a little visual quiz for you. Shown below are 21 pictures of birds for you to identify. I invite you to take the quiz and identify as many birds as you can (without a field guide - but I've added hints). You can put your answers in the comments section or send me an e-mail (if you're not sure about all the birds - rjknits at msn dot com). I will post the correct answers on Sunday night (hopefully that will give everyone enough time). Good Luck and thanks for playing! (NOTE: All of the following photos were taken in Southeast Minnesota.)

1. Lynne's favorite bird (TURKEY VULTURE)
2. Native to the Arctic (SNOWY OWL)

3. Loves thistle seed (AMERICAN GOLDFINCH)

4. Loves berries (CEDAR WAXWING)

5. A game bird (originally imported from China) (RING-NECKED PHEASANT)

6. Sometimes also called the blackbird (COMMON GRACKLE)

7. Everyone's favorite red bird (NORTHERN CARDINAL)

8. His color and call are his name (BLUEJAY)

9. Gobble, gobble (EASTERN WILD TURKEY)

10. Feigns "broken wing" to lure predators away from its nest (KILLDEER)

11. This duck will nest in a house (WOOD DUCK)

12. This is not a hummingbird (AMERICAN ROBIN)

13. Its song mimics other bird calls & sounds - always repeated twice (BROWN THRASHER)

14. Has a baseball team named after it (BALTIMORE ORIOLE)

15. A bird of happiness (EASTERN BLUEBIRD)

16. This isn't the purple one (HOUSE FINCH)

17. A grassland bird whose numbers are declining (BOBOLINK)

18. A poor nest builder (MOURNING DOVE)

19. This is a baby (HOUSE WREN)

(Sorry, Susan, I wish this was a Carolina Wren--they've been seen in Rochester, but I've never had them out in my neck of the woods)

20. This is the female (not a purple finch!) (ROSE-BREASTED GROSBEAK)

21. Not a ladder-back! (RED-BELLIED WOODPECKER)

22. Our largest swallow (PURPLE MARTIN)

23. Aw come you really need a hint for this one? (RUBY-THROATED HUMMINGBIRD)

24. Other varieties of these include Carolina and Boreal (BLACK-CAPPED CHICKADEE)

25. Sometimes confused with his much larger, identical cousin (DOWNY WOODPECKER)

If you get 20 or more correct, consider yourself a birder. And if you get less than 20 that's OK too, because the important thing is that you're having fun watching and learning about the birds.

While you're answering these questions, I will be thinking of a prize for the first five "birders" with 21 or more correct answers (it will be something knitted).


Larry said...

I know them all ,so I guess that makes me a birder! I enjoyed your nice variety of photos.-

Richard said...

24 of 25...not to bad for someone who's fairly new at this. Had to look up #20 since I've never seen one.

loribird said...

What beautiful photos - just one more reason I love your blog! That picture with the hummingbird made me do a double take - how on earth did you get that shot!?!??
I haven't done an official count yet, but I recognize all the birds and I think I know the names for all but one or two - I call myself an amateur birder. :)

Richard said...

I actually had about 20. The others I had a general name but not the specific. Good old "Kaufman's Field Guide" filled in the rest. Guess I'm still an amateur.

Trixie said...

I just made the cut at 21! What fun! Well done, Ms. Ruthie.

Ruth said...

Congratulations on such a wonderful collection of bird photos! I haven't seen all those birds but do recognize them all. Here is a bird quiz from the Cornell University that I didn't do as well on.

Marsha said...

I got them all...can you tell I'm from MN too :-)

What a great post Ruthie!

Anonymous said...

I posted my answers on your regular e-mail. I hope I got them all. That was a lot of fun for me.

Meggie said...

I'm stumped on five of them. I'll be looking forward to seeing the answers on Sunday. This was fun! Great shots, thanks Ruthie.

Susan Gets Native said...

Oh, I totally rock.
1. Turkey vulture
2. Snowy owl
3. American goldfinch
4. Cedar waxwing
5. Ring-necked pheasant
6. Common grackle
7. Northern Cardinal
8. Blue Jay
9. Wild Turkey (also a good whiskey)
10. Killdeer
11. Wood duck
12. American ?robin
13. Brown thrasher
14. Baltimore oriole
15. Eastern bluebird (may it fly up your nose...or is that bird of paradise???) hee hee
16. House finch
17. Boblink
18. Mourning dove (boo hoo)
19. Carolina wren
20. Red-breasted grosbeak
21. Red-bellied woodpecker
22. Purple martin
23. Ruby-throated hummingbird
24. Black-capped chickadee
25. Downy woodpecker

Makes me want to write down all the birds I can ID. I think I qualify as a super-duper uber-birder. (Even if LBJ's still make my eye twitch.)

Jennifer said...

I missed two... the baby and the female... Not bad for a Reluctant Birder!

Mary said...

Ruthie, I'm so proud of myself. I didn't do to bad as a beginner. I whipped right through this quiz, however, I missed RN Pheasant, Boblink, and RB Grosbeak. Thanks to Susan GN, I can identify three more bewds.

Maud said...

I think I managed between 12 and 15, but I don't know the English names for them, and I'm not going to look up the latin ones. Lot of birds I've never even seen in a field guid, but, no wonder since all my field guides are European. Many beautiful pics Ruth!

mon@rch said...

Wonderful "birder" quiz and easy but still a little tough to help those see there level of being a birder! Bravo!

Mike Hendrickson said...

DAMN!! I give up!


Mike H.

April said...

This was a fun quiz. I managed to name about 19. It'll be interesting to read your list of answers. I think #4 is a Waxwing, but I didn't know what kind. We have had them here eating the saskatoon berries. #23 is a hummingbird, of course, but, again I didn't know which one. The one we have coming back year after year is the rufous. They usually arrive beginning of May. I think I have a ways to go before I am a true birder.
(central British Columbia, Canada)

RuthieJ said...

Wow you guys, I'm impressed! And you should all be very proud of yourselves!

The point I was trying to get across is that even though you may not think of yourself as an "expert birder" (Mary & Jenn!) look at how many birds you WERE able to identify out of 25! And even if you didn't recognize them when you started, you just learned 3 or 4 new birds from reading this single post.

It's important to keep in mind that a few of us have more opportunities to see birds and have been birding for many more years (sorry Mike...I know it was too easy for you :-) but thanks for being a good sport).

And just to show you all how good you are, I forced my spousal unit to sit down and go through this and he was only able to identify 13 (see the difference between a birder and an *ordinary* person?)

Special thanks to my "international friends" (Maud, Ruth & April) for playing along and being able to identify as many birds as you did even though some of my pictures were U.S. or regional species.

But I'm still going to wait till Sunday to post the answers (in case anyone else still wants to test their skills).

Jayne said...

I somehow missed this post yesterday Ruthie! Great job! I got all but #17 and #19. Feeling rather proud of myself!