Friday, January 15, 2010


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The MYSTERY BIRD CONTEST is, indeed, a mystery. Although the video-taper identifies the bird as a Vesper Sparrow, the quality and descriptions of the contestants begs me to take a second look. The video was of cheesy quality, the ID comments by responders were deductive and deftly intuitive, and the experience level of the video-taper is unknown.

So, we announce 8 winners, even though 1 contestant named it correctly; i.e., what the video-taper thought it was. That contestant was (1) JACKIE AUGUSTINE with the ID of VESPER SPARROW

Here's the remainder of the WINNERS, who may be correct in their ID:

(2)Brian Zwiebel
Chesnut-collared Longspur? White outer tail has me thinking Vesper Sparrow or one of the Longspurs. The dark smudges on the breast would be good for a Chestnut, maybe molting to breeding? The face markings made me think Smith's Longspur but the breast would not show any dark smudging. I'm wondering what fledged Vesper Sparrows look like? I confess, I'm stumped but will stick wtih Chestnut-collared Longspur.

Good Birding!

Dutch Gardens, Inc.

(3)Hallie Mason
Message: Tough one...Lapland Longspur?

(4)Jill Bowers
Could it be a Dark Eyed Junco??That\'s my guess.

(5)Gene Morton
immature dark-eyed junco I will stick with junco because the vesper has streaking down the sides and this doesn't and because I cannot see a white eye ring. Also, the breast is too dark as though the junco juv was molting into the adult plumage, wherein the breast is dark, not streaked.

(6)Joe Hildreth
Is it a Chestnut-collared Longspur?

(7)Bob Barrett
I think it's a dark-eyed junco

(8) Casey
Looks like a McCown's Longspur.

Scroll down to Post "A-14 MYSTERY BIRD CONTEST NO. 2-WHAT IS IT?" to view the video again.

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