The final winners of the Mystery Bird Competition 2012:


They identified 7 out of 12 mystery birds correctly! Plus 4 more in the extra round! Congratulations!

Second place goes to Quentin Paynter, who worked very hard too!!! He also identified 7 out of 12 birds correctly! Excellent score!

Third place goes to Mitch Lysinger who identified 6 out of 12 correctly! Very well done!

Final ranking 2012 click here!

See below the winners and solutions of each of the previous months of 2012:

Extra round 2012

Mystery-Bird extra round 2012

For 2012 we have an extra round because we try to get one winner!

The extra round is between Quentin, Tuomas and Jonas and shows four Mystery Birds.

They have exactly 3 days to send in their answers. 

 Solutions Extra Round 2012

Solution extraround 2012

1) Northern Waterthrush 2) Long-wattled Umbrellabird 3) Tennessee Warbler 4) White-lored Euphonia

The extra round was done surprisingly well, especially taken the stressfully short timeframe.
Both Tuomas and Jonas identified all four birds correctly so we have two winners for 2013!!!!
The second place goes to Quentin Paynter!


Mystery Bird - December 2012


Solution - December 2012 


Eastern Kingbird Tyrannus tyrannus

December's Mystery Bird was identified correctly by
Mitch Lysinger and Jorge Bedoya: excellent job!

Other species that have been sent in:
Maranon Slaty-Antshrike Thamnophilus leucogaster (2x)

Tropical Mockingbird Mimus gilvus

Long-tailed Mockingbird Mimus longicaudatus (2x)

Ash-breasted Sierra Finch Phrygilus plebejus

Mystery Bird - November 2012

Mystery Bird November 2012

Solution - November 2012

Solution November 2012

Dark-billed Cuckoo Coccyzus melacoryphus

This month was very tough. Especially confusing because of the damaged tail feathers...

...but surprisingly we got eight winners this round!!!

Tuomas Seimola, Jonas Nilsson, Quentin Paynter, Mitch Lysinger,

Randy Vickers, Mathieu Siol, Steve Davidson, Scott Olmstead: very well done!

Other species that have been sent in:

Black-capped Donacobius Donacobius atricapilla

Long-billed Gnatwren Ramphocaenus melanurus

Streak-throated Bush Tyrant Myiotheretes striaticollis


Mystery Bird - October 2012

Mystery Oct 2012

Solution - October 2012

Solution Oct 2012

Olive-sided Flycatcher Contopus cooperi

Again a very tricky picture. But this time especially confusing because of the Paramo habitat! A nice example that boreal migrants can in fact show up anywhere.
This bird was photographed above the treeline at 4000m elevation (probably the highest altitudinal record of the species in Ecuador).
Surprisingly, we got three correct answers: Tuomas Seimola, Roger Ahlman and Jonas Nilsson did a very good job!

Other species that have been sent in:

Paramo Ground Tyrant Muscisaxicola alpinus (3x)

Western Wood Pewee Contopus sordidulus

Brown-chested Martin Progne tapera

Latest ranking click here!

Mystery Bird - September 2012

Mystery Bird Sept 2012

Solution - September 2012

Solution Sept 2012

Red-billed Tyrannulet Zimmerius cinereicapilla

We got no less than four winners this month!

Mitch Lysinger, Jonas Nilsson, Tuomas Seimola and Quentin Paynter identified the bird correctly; good job!

Other species that have been sent in:

Slender-footed Tyrannulet Zimmerius gracilipes

Plumbeous-crowned Tyrannulet Phyllomyias plumbeiceps (2x)

Sooty-headed Tyrannulet Phyllomyias griseiceps

Dusky-chested Flycatcher Myiozetetes luteiventris

Mystery Bird - August 2012 

 Mystery August 2012

Solution- August 2012

Solution August 2012

White-tailed Shrike-Tyrant Agriornis albicauda

Again a very tough picture this month. Nevertheless, eight participants managed to indentify it as a shrike-tyrant Agriornis sp.
The chunky head and neck, relatively short-tailed, but especially the dry habitat (dried lichens and bromeliad on the branches) point towards White-tailed Shrike-tyrant.
We got five winners this month: Ed Smith, Roger Ahlman, Mitch Lysinger, Tuomas Seimola and Xavier Amigo; congrats!
Other species that have been sent in:

Black-billed Shrike-tyrant Agriornis montanus (3x)

Spot-billed Ground-tyrant Muscisaxicola maculirostris

Band-tailed Seedeater Catamenia analis

Mystery Bird - July 2012

 Mystery Bird - July 2012

Solution - July 2012

Solution - July 2012 

Short-tailed Hawk Buteo brachyurus

Raptors are tough but nevertheless we got 6 winners this month:
Roger Ahlman, Chris LaydenMitch Lysinger, Ed Smith, Quentin Paynter and Tuomas Seimola!

Other species that have been sent in:

Black-and-chestnut Eagle Spizaetus isidori (2x)

White-rumped Hawk Buteo leucorrhous

Zone-tailed Hawk Buteo albonotatus

Broad-winged Hawk Buteo platypterus


Mystery Bird - June 2012

 Mystery June 2012

Solution - June 2012

Mystery Bird Solution June 2012

Ruddy Spinetail Synallaxis rutilans

This round was very hard. No one seemed confident of the identification and many participants mentioned that they actually had no clue of what it was.

Surprisingly, four participants sent in the correct anwser!

Chris Layden, Jonas Nilsson, Ed Smith, Quentin Paynter; well done!

Other species that have been sent in:

 Andean Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola peruvianus (2x)

White-lined Tanager Tachyphonus rufus

Silver-beaked Tanager Ramphocelus carbo

Uniform Antshrike Thamnophilus unicolor

Mystery Bird - May 2012 

 Mystery Bird - May 2012

Solution - May 2012

Solution May 2012 

Band-tailed Sierra-finch Phrygilus alaudinus

A tricky back shot but nevertheless we got eight correct solutions. Some even managed to identify it down to an immature male! 

 Winners of this round: Quentin Paynter, Carlos Rodriguez, Hector Cadena, Jonas Nilsson,

Tuomas Seimola, Roger Ahlman, Mitch Lysinger and Randy Vickers; good job!

Other species that have been sent in:

 Paramo Pipit Anthus bogotensis (2)

Yellow-browed Sparrow Ammodramus aurifrons

Latest ranking click here!

Mystery Bird - April 2012

Mystery April 2012

Solution - April 2012 

 Solution April 2012

Black Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus tyrannus

Most participants sent in a raptor species and six went for a hawk-eagle (see the feathered tarsus). From here it gets even trickier because how do you know which one?

Jonas Nilsson and Scott Olmstead got it right and win this round; congrats!

Other species that have been sent in:

Ornate Hawk-Eagle Spizaetus ornatus (4)

Hook-billed Kite Chondrohierax uncinatus

Roadside Hawk Buteo magnirostris

Plain-breasted Hawk Accipiter ventralis

Andean Potoo Nyctibius maculosus

Latest ranking click here!

Mystery Bird - March 2012

Mystery Bird March 2012

Solution - March 2012

Solution March 2012

Scarlet Macaw Ara macao

his month was very tricky. Certainly if it comes to judgment of size!

wo of the winners sent in a very similar comment: "I cannot think of any other species that has this color patternexcept Scarlet Macaw, but that leaf must be huge!"

We got three winners for this round: Ed Smith, Quentin Paynter and Scott Olmstead; excellent job!

Other species that had been sent in:

Andean Cock-of-the-rock Rupicola peruvianus

Rufous Motmot Baryphthengus martii (2x)

Cinnamon Attila Attila cinnamomeus

Orange-backed Troupial Icterus croconotus

Latest ranking click here!

Mystery Bird - February 2012

 Mystery Bird Feb 2012

Solution - February 2012

Solution Feb 2012

Rufous-brown Solitaire Cichlopsis leucogenys

Again a very tricky round, especially if you have not seen this species in the field!

It is depicted very rufous in the field guide, which is confusing...

The winners: Avery Bartels, Jonas Nilsson, Mathieu Siol and Tuomas Seimola, congrats!

Other species that had been sent in:

Ecuadorian Thrush Turdus maculirostris

Pale-vented Thrush Turdus obsoletus

Uniform treehunter Thripadectes ignobilis

Red-crowned Ant-Tanager Habia rubica

Maranon thrush Turdus maranonicus

Glossy-black Thrush  Turdus serranus


Latest ranking click here!

Mystery Bird - January 2012

Mystery January 2012

Solution - January 2012

Solution January 2012

Violet-throated Metaltail Metallura baroni

This first round of 2012 turned out complex: the bird is perched right in the open (can it get any easier than this?!) but still difficult to identify.

Nevertheless, we got three winners that correctly indentified this metaltail.

The winners: Quentin Paynter, Ed Smith and Rudy Gelis, congratulations!

Other species that had been sent in:

Buff-tailed Coronet Boissonneaua flavescens (2)

Tyrian Metaltail Metallura tyrianthina (4)

Viridian Metaltail Metallura williami (3)

Neblina Metaltail Metallura odomae



Aves Ecuador by Dušan M. Brinkhuizen