This page provides answers to the questions posed on the BIRDQUIZ page. The questions are designed to test your knowledge of All the World’s Birds and provide an entertaining way to learn more.
The questions and answers are listed in reverse order of publication, so that the most recent question is at the top. All questions have previously appeared on Twitter as tweets from @charlesrstubbs.
BIRDQUIZ 20/9 In v10.2 of the IOC birdlist there are three bird species with English names beginning ‘Oriental P … ’ and three with English names beginning ‘Oriental S … ’. How many can you name?
249/1461 Oriental Plover Charadrius veredus (breeds ec ASIA; winters n Australia)
280/1587 Oriental Pratincole Glareola maldivarum
(breeds sc, ec, se ASIA; winters Greater Sundas, n Australasia)
111/0710 Oriental Stork Ciconia boyciana
(breeds se Russia, ne China; winters Japan, South Korea, ec, se China, Taiwan)
323/2232 Oriental Scops Owl Otus sunia
(sc, se ASIA; breeds ec ASIA; winters s Malaysian Peninsula, Sumatra)
407/3198 Oriental Pied Hornbill Anthracoceros albirostris (sc, se ASIA)
760/6569 Oriental Skylark Alauda gulgula
(se, sc ASIA; breeds c ASIA; winters locally Middle East)
[Theses species are featured in PARTS THREE (3), FOUR (2) and EIGHT (1) of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/8 Which one of these bird species is NOT a member of Family: Furnariidae – Ovenbirds … Coastal Miner, Spix’s Woodcreeper, Bay Hornero, Striped Treehunter, Black Spinetail?
In version 10.2 of the IOC birdlist, the South American family Furnariidae – Ovenbirds has 315 species with a wide variety of English names. Included within this family are:
483/4086 Coastal Miner (coastal nw, wc Peru)
483/4320 Spix’s Woodcreeper (e Amazonian Brazil)
483/4116 Bay Hornero (w Amazon and major tributaries)
483/4269 Striped Treehunter (Andes of nw South America)
The family also includes 60 ‘Spinetail’ species, plus 10 ‘Tit-Spinetail’ species and a ‘Wren-spinetail’.
351/2582 Black Spinetail (northern wc Africa, locally southern w Africa)
is not an Ovenbird but a species of Swift, one of 7 species of ‘Spinetail’ Swift that are resident in Africa. Another 2 species of ‘Spinetail’ Swift reside in Asia, and there are 2 species of ‘Spine-tailed Swift’ – one found in s Philippines and the other in New Guinea.
[Ovenbirds feature in a number of ATWB publications – Part SIX of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series; South America/Middle America WORLD REGIONS Companion Guide; and a number of guides covering North-west South America: search Amazon Books for ATWBNWSA. Swifts are featured in Part ONE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/7 Can you match these bird species to the world regions where they are regularly present? Balicassiao, Neddicky, Plushcap, Rifleman: Africa, Asia, Australasia, South America.
672/6022 Balicassiao (n, c, s Philippines: Asia) Family: Dicruridae – Drongos
820/7114 Neddicky (s, southern c Africa) Family: Cisticolidae – Cisticolas & Allies
985/9851 Plushcap (Andes of c, nw South America) Family: Thraupidae – Tanagers & Allies
471/4020 Rifleman (New Zealand: Australasia) Family: Acanthisittidae – New Zealand Wrens
[Featured in PARTS EIGHT, NINE, TWELVE and SIX respectively of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series]
BIRDQUIZ 20/6 In v10.1 of the IOC birdlist, what is the only member of Family: Sylviidae – Sylviid Babblers that regularly occurs in the Americas?
836/7500 Wrentit (w USA, nw Baja California)
[This species is featured in two publications: PART NINE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series and the compendium ATWB South America/Middle America WORLD REGIONS Companion Guide. In v10.2 of the IOC birdlist, single species genus Chamaea (Wrentit) was transferred to new Family: Paradoxornithidae – Parrotbills and allies.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/5 In v10.1 of the IOC birdlist, Family: Motacillidae – Wagtails, Pipits has species with English names ending in ‘Wagtail’, ‘Pipit’ and what else?
Of the 68 extant species in the Motacillidae family in the IOC birdlist v10.1, there are 8 species in genus Macronyx that have an English name ending in ‘Longclaw’. All are resident in Africa, ranging from West Africa eastwards to Ethiopia and southwards to South Africa. They include 953/8932 Sharpe’s Longclaw, which is found only in c, sw, wc Kenya, and 953/8933 Abyssinian Longclaw, which is endemic to n, c, sw Ethiopia.
[‘Longclaw’ species feature in several ATWB publications, including Part ELEVEN of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/4 If all the species in v10.1 of the IOC birdlist are arranged in alphabetical order by their English names, Abbott’s Babbler comes first. What comes last? [Hint: it’s not Zitting Cisticola]
The species with the English name that comes last in alphabetical order is 167/1103 Zone-tailed Hawk, which is resident around the edges of the Amazon basin and in southern Central America, breeding also in c, n Mexico and sw USA.
[This species features in several ATWB publications, including South America/Middle America WORLD REGIONS Companion Guide – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/3 Can you solve this riddle? When is an Ovenbird not an Ovenbird? When it’s an Ovenbird!
In v10.1 of the IOC birdlist, the bird family Furnariidae: Ovenbirds consists of 315 species, all of which are exclusively regularly present in either South or Middle America, except for two species, Grey-flanked Cinclodes and Masafuera Rayadito, which are resident on Juan Fernández Islands (part of Chile) lying in east central Pacific Ocean. (The latter species is found only here.) Ovenbirds are suboscine passerines (perching birds that are not songbirds). The family name comes from the practice of some species to create mud nests that resemble a clay oven. The species with the English name Ovenbird Seiurus aurocapilla, however, is a member of the family Parulidae: New World Warblers. It breeds in Canada and eastern United States, migrating to Middle America and the Caribbean in winter. So this ‘Ovenbird’ is not an Ovenbird!
[The bird family Furnariidae is featured in Part SIX of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details, with nearly all species also featured in the ATWB South America/Middle America WORLD REGIONS Companion Guide – click here for details. The species with the English name ‘Ovenbird’ is featured in Part TWELVE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/2 In v10.1 of the IOC birdlist there is a Passerine bird family with 11 species – 1 regularly found in the Americas, 1 in Western Palearctic, 7 in Africa, 4 in Asia. What’s the family?
The family is Remizidae – Penduline Tits. The one species that is regularly found in the Americas is:
748/6495 Verdin (northern c, n Mexico, sw USA)
The one species regularly found in Western Palearctic is:
748/6487 Eurasian Penduline Tit
[This bird family is featured in Part EIGHT of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 20/1 In v9.2 of the IOC birdlist there are three species with an English name that starts with the word ‘Wandering’? One is Wandering Albatross. Can you name the other two?
The other two species are:
042/0104 Wandering Whistling Duck Dendrocygna arcuata
of south-eastern Asia and Australasia.
274/1546 Wandering Tattler Tringa incana
– a sandpiper that breeds in north-west Canada, Alaska and extreme north-east Russia and migrates (‘wanders’) south to the west coast of South America, many Pacific islands and north-east Australasia.
[These species are featured in Part ONE and Part THREE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/12 In v9.2 of the IOC birdlist there are two bird species – Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike and Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher – that are in the same bird family. But which family?
Vangas are a group of birds confined to Madagascar and neigbouring Comoro islands. Comprising 21 species, including 4 Newtonias and Ward’s Flycatcher, they formerly comprised their own Family: Vangidae – Vangas. Then in v8.2 of the IOC birdlist two other bird families were merged into Vangidae: the 8 species of Prionopidae – Helmetshrikes and the 8 species of Tephrodornithidae – Woodshrikes and allies. A further 2 species were transferred from Family: Platysteiridae – Wattle-eyes, Batises into the expanded Vanga family, which now has the name Family: Vangidae – Vangas & Allies. Prior to this rearrangement, Black-winged Flycatcher-shrike was in the Woodshrikes and allies family, while Black-and-white Shrike-flycatcher was one of the two species transferred from the Wattle-eyes, Batises family. So both species with similar sounding names are now lodged in the same family as the Madagascan vangas – and they are neither shrikes nor flycatchers!
[This bird family is featured in Part SEVEN of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/11 What’s the only species of the Cockatoos family that does not regularly occur in Australasia?
The Australasia world region includes Wallacea, which makes up a large part of central and eastern Indonesia, as well as the country of Timor-Leste. The only species of Family: Cacatuidae – Cockatoos that does not regularly occur within the Australasia world region is:
458/3709 Red-vented Cockatoo Cacatua haematuropygia
Once widely distributed throughout the Philippines, this species is now largely restricted to islands in the west and centre of that country.
Another species of Cockatoo:
458/3710 Yellow-crested Cockatoo Cacatua sulphurea
is regularly present outside of Australasia to the west of Wallacea on an island in the east Java Sea, as well as being present in western Wallacea (including Sulawesi and the Lesser Sundas).
All other members of the Cockatoos family are found in their natural state (i.e. not introduced) wholly within the Australasia world region.
[This bird family is featured in Part FIVE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details. You can learn more about Australasia birds in the ATWB World Regions series – click here for details, and about the birds of Wallacea in the ATWB Focus on … series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/10 Following the mid-2019 shake-up of Non-Passerine Orders (see the ATWB July 2019 blog post), can you place these bird families in their new taxonomic sequence?
Penguins, Grebes, Skuas, Cuckoos, Owls, Swifts.
The new taxonomic sequence is:
In PART 1 of the IOC birdlist:
In PART 2 of the IOC birdlist:
In PART 3 of the IOC birdlist:
In PART 4 of the IOC birdlist:
[These bird families are featured in Parts ONE, TWO, THREE and FOUR of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
042/0119 Nene Branta sandvicensis (Hawaii)
042/0224 Smew Mergellus albellus (Western Palearctic, Asia)
201/127F Sora Porzana carolina (Americas)
274/1571 Ruff Calidris pugnax (worldwide)
185/1180 Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus (New Caledonia)
684/6262 Rook Corvus frugilegus (Western Palearctic, Asia)
[The first five birds in this list are featured in Parts ONE, TWO and THREE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/8 Christmas Shearwater and Christmas Frigatebird … Both breed on Christmas Island but are never seen together. Why?
091/0632 Christmas Shearwater Puffinus nativitatis
breeds on Kiribati Island (also known as Christmas Island) in the Pacific Ocean south of Hawaii.
138/0831 Christmas Frigatebird Fregata andrewsi
breeds on Christmas Island in north-east Indian Ocean.
The non-breeding ranges of these two species do not overlap.
[These birds are featured in the ATWB Oceans WORLD REGIONS Companion Guide – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/7 Which bird species is the only member of Family: Fringillidae – Finches, Euphonias to occur regularly in southern India?
961/9012 Common Rosefinch Carpodacus erythrinus
winters regularly in south-west India.
[This bird is featured in the ATWB Interactive Checklist for South-west India – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/6 In v9.2 of the IOC birdlist, what do the following three bird species have in common? Kagu Rhynochetos jubatus, Cuckoo Roller Leptosomus discolor, Yellow-breasted Chat Icteria virens?
They are all members of families that have only one species.
185/1180 Kagu (New Caledonia)
is the single species member of Family Rhynochetidae.
367/2970 Cuckoo Roller (Madagascar and nearby islands)
is the single species member of Family Leptosomidae.
998/9274 Yellow-breasted Chat (North America, Middle America)
is the single species member of Family Icteriidae.
[These birds are featured in Parts THREE, FOUR and TWELVE of the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide series – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/5 In v9.2 of the IOC birdlist, what bird species has the longest (hyphenated) SINGLE WORD English name, with 18 characters? [Hint: it’s well known but infrequently seen.]
339/2466 Chuck-will’s-widow Antrostomus carolinensis
is a member of the Nightjar family. Resident in s Florida and coastal sc USA, it breeds across eastern North America, wintering in the Caribbean, e Mexico, Central America and the western lowlands of extreme north-west South America. It’s English name is familiar, especially in North America. However, being a nocturnal bird it is seldom seen.
[This bird, along with the All the World’s more than 90 other extant species of Nightjar, is featured in the ATWB Part-by-Part Companion Guide PART ONE – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/4 To have a good chance of seeing both these species on the same day, where would you need to be birding?
636/5797 Ashy Minivet Pericrocotus divaricatus
680/6142 Island Monarch Monarcha cinerascens
Island Monarch is resident on coasts and smaller islands of Wallacea in north-west Australasia. Ashy Minivet breeds in eastern Asia, moving south post-breeding to winter in South-east Asia and the Philippines. Additionally, some birds overwinter in the northern part of the island of Sulawesi in north central Indonesia, and it is here that the ranges of these two species overlap. So, to have a good chance of seeing both these species on the same day, you would need to be birding in the coastal region of northern Sulawesi outside of the northern hemisphere breeding season.
BIRDQUIZ 19/3 There’s one species of bird that’s found only in the countries of Jamaica and Colombia.
What is it, and where in Colombia is it regularly present?
973/930Y Jamaican Oriole Icterus leucopteryx
is normally thought of as a “Jamaica endemic”, but a subspecies I. l. lawrencii is resident on San Andrés Island in the sw Caribbean Sea off the coast of Nicaragua. [Another subspecies I. l. bairdi formerly inhabited Grand Cayman Island, but is now extinct.] San Andrés Island is part of the country of Colombia.
[You can find Jamaican Oriole and many other bird species with restricted ranges in South America, Middle America and the Caribbean in the ATWB PART TWELVE Companion Guide – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/2 Which of these is NOT a type of Hummingbird? Coronet, Jacobin, Monklet, Racket-tail, Sabrewing, Thornbill, Thorntail?
415/326F Lanceolated Monklet (nw South America, Costa Rica)
is a member of Family: Bucconidae – Puffbirds.
[In v9.2 of the IOC birdlist there are 338 species of Hummingbird regularly present in South America/Middle America. Find them all in the ATWB South America/Middle America WORLD REGIONS Companion Guide – click here for details.]
BIRDQUIZ 19/1 In v9.2 of the IOC birdlist there are 4 species with only THREE letters in their English name.
One is: 548/543Y Mao Gymnomyza aubryana of the Samoan islands.
Can you name the other three?
Answer 19/1: the other three are
005/0076 Emu Dromaius novaehollandiae of Australia
454/3691 Kea Nestor notabilis of s New Zealand
548/5327 Tui Prosthemadera novaeseelandiae of New Zealand mainland, Kermadec, Chatham, Auckland islands
[These birds are featured in the ATWB Australasia WORLD REGIONS Companion Guides – click here for details.]