Monthly Bird Book Giveaway – May!

May’s book giveaway is Kenn Kaufman’s new Field Guide to Advanced Birding! I have yet to see this wonderful book, but I have the older edition and it is great.

So you wanna win this book? Leave a comment here on my blog in answer to this question:

What was your most difficult field ID challenge?

Comments MUST be posted here on this blog, by Wednesday, May 11, at 6:00 PM Mountain time. If you must sign in as anonymous – I MUST have your name or a way to contact you.

Winner will be randomly chosen.. the numbers in the hat thing, OK?

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20 Responses to Monthly Bird Book Giveaway – May!

  1. Lynda Ackert says:

    I don’t have just one ‘difficult id’ because I’m terrible at identifying sparrows!! UGH. My poor husband has SO MUCH patience with me…I see a sparrow and unless it’s a song, savannah, tree, field or chipping – I’m useless! lol Would really love to have this book!

    — If I win, please notify me at this email address:

  2. Carol N Wong says:

    My worst challenge is the leaves of trees! A lot of times when I see a bird that I haven’t seen before. It will fly into the tall trees that we have in the back yard. Looking through the leaves, all I can see is spots of color.
    I would love to have this book to help me.


  3. Anonymous says:

    My worse challenge is being able to follow them in flight until they land again!

    If I win I can be reached at

    Thank you!

  4. OKbookwoman says:

    Wet birds! We spent what seemed like hours trying to pin down a very accommodating (posed for the whole time) Savannah Sparrow in the rain on Cub Lake Trail once.

    –Deb Evers
    okbookwoman at gmail dot com

  5. Anonymous says:

    The first time I saw a short-eared owl it was terribly difficult to identify it. It was about 5 minutes from pitch dark and it was flying around some cattails. Obviously the environment was correct but there were other species of Owl that lived around this area. After observing them more I’m pretty sure it was a short eared owl for a couple of reasons. 1. the markings on the edges of the wing and characteristics of flight were correct. I guess I’ll never no for sure.

    Currently I’m trying to improve my ability to identify female songbirds of all varieties.

    Ryan Carpenter

  6. Nora says:

    I’m still stuck on the Cooper’s Hawk vs. Sharp Shinned Hawk dilemma. Unless they are actively flying next to eachother, forget it! The fine body proportion differences are something I’d like to read more about.

  7. Nick Komar says:

    Ammodramus sparrows are notoriously difficult. One bird last fall showed up in the grasses at Fossil Creek Reservoir. It was November, so it was a straggler. A group of us stealthily stalked that bird as it ran mouse-like through a weedy field. My impression of the bird in the field was that it was relatively long-tailed like a Baird’s Sparrow, but a few black-and-white photos that I managed to obtain confirmed (after nationwide consultations) that it was the Ammodramus species that breeds locally in Colorado: Grasshopper Sparrow. Finding the tiny bird among the weeds in the photograph by the way was just as difficult as spotting it in the field.

    Nick Komar,

  8. Amy says:

    Learning bird calls and songs is a big struggle for me. I think my ability to forget songs, especially those of warblers, may be unparalleled. 🙁 I would love to have a copy of this book, thanks for running the contest!

  9. Anonymous says:

    my address is at gmail dot com

  10. Anonymous says:

    A particularly difficult ID was a winter gull (we thought it was a gull) at Sebastian Inlet, near Melbourne FL. White head and black spot were typical of a couple of species, but the black legs were eliminating everything we suspected. Finally, after the fact, we realized, duh, it was a gull-billed Tern. Which we’ve now seen many times in both plumages, but that first one was a puzzle.

    Dave Cameron from COBIRDS

  11. Fairly new to birdwatching, sparrows are tough and sometimes I still don’t recognize red-tailed hawks. I try to take pictures and look at them later with a field guide in hand, but if I still can’t figure it out I upload photos to Flickr and use a bird id group there…

  12. Russell Reynolds says:

    My most difficult was between a Common and a Hoary RedPoll. It came down to the Hoary having “Frosty” look , unmarked white on rump,flanks,undertail coverts,bill looking stubbier.

    Russell Reynolds

  13. My biggest challenge is when I am birding away from my home state in unfamiliar territory. I’ve been birding long enough that I am not familiar with almost all the common bird songs at home. But when I am in new territory I have to spend several days becoming acquainted with the songs of the birds there. Then it is so easy to assume that you are seeing one of the familiar birds from back home — but often the species are different in a place which is new to me.
    Ken Ostermiller

  14. Warblers! Warblers just drive me nuts! And they do it fairly regularly since I live in East Central FL which is a main path of the flyway. My most difficult ID though, was a lone Blue Gray Gnatcatcher that I had to stalk quietly for a mile down a trail before he settled enough for me to get a good look. His beauty and minute size enthralled me. Soon several more joined him. I id’ed him using an iPhone and felt so satisfied. It made me realize that birding can be a challenge that ultimately rewards patience and persistence. And time had no hold on me, it was me, outdoors, listening, watching, and being totally in the moment. Those little ones are jewels.

    Cynthia Amoruso

  15. auntcindy says:

    My toughest challenges are gulls and shorebirds. We see some along lakes and rivers here in WV, but I still have so much to learn!

  16. Alan says:

    Great book giveaway Connie. Sparrows and Warblers (esp fall warblers) are the toughest for me.

    BTW, I have a giveaway going on on my blog. Stop by & enter if you get a chance!

  17. Sherry says:

    My biggest challenge is flycatchers…..I know when I see a flycatcher..but usually can never ID them!

  18. bpadgett says:

    I *should* say sparrows or peeps, but frankly I’ve just about given up on ever being able to identify them consistently! So I have to go with “warblers from below”–which means most warblers that I see! I’m trying to learn the different body shapes, but it’s hard enough to ID them through thick foliage even when you can see the colors of breeding males. Any tips would help!

  19. Kent says:

    south american flycatchers. Here in Ohio we have 5 Empidonax to sort through. There they have pages and pages of similar flycatchers to choose from.


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