Thursday, 14 November 2013

Birding brain-games by William Jones

Conquered the large white-headed gull complex? Pick out the Semi-P in that Dunlin swarm from Google Earth? Able to seperate Fea's and Zino' smell? 

Yes? Then you'll find these easy...probably. 

Next Generation Birder William Jones has created a range of brain-wringing quizzes on Sporcle (that black-hole site of lost office hours and OCD) to truly test the worth of what you know about ornithology. Pour a cuppa, go to the loo and clear the calendar, this may take some time...

A quiz on the bird orders. You're given the order names and have 4 minutes to give an example of each of the 40 orders. Moderately easy.

Test your knowledge of world bird names. The starts of bird species names are given with their family name missing. You must identify the family name. Eg. Dalmatian, Spot-billed, Brown, Australian: would have the answer Pelican. 10 mins. Getting harder.

How well do you know your scientific names of species on the British List? More specifically, those with tautonyms (a scientific name which repeats itself eg. Lagopus lagopus). 15 mins for 37 tautonyms. Tricky.

A few more tautonyms, from further afield. 15 mins for 23 tautonyms.

Can you name the world's auk species? 10 mins.

A budding Chris Gooddie? Jewel Thrush make you drool? Or just a fan of Middle Eastern flatbreads? Take the Pittas of the world test. 10 mins.

Same as above, but with those dandy feathered limes: the Turacos. 5 mins.

A skull grinder: name all the world's species in the wader mega-family Scolopacidae (sandpipers et al). You won't believe how many you forget. 15 mins.

A list of bird names, some astonishingly real, some fabrications. Click on the ones you reckon are true. Look out for the soul-singing gamebird. 10 mins.

Geographer and birder? Or just a useless trivia sponge? This might be for you: name the country that has one of the 28 bird species listed as its national bird. 13 mins. 

For latin fiends: click on the order of the bird that appears on the screen. Tougher than Guillemot jerky. 10 mins.

A warm-up to the shark-infested marathon ahead. Name all the non-passerines on the British List. Put the gun down. 20 mins. 

The Mother of birding quizzes. Settle down with some snacks, this'll be a long one. All the passerines on the British List. 20 mins.

Name all the warblers on the British List. 10 mins. A head-pounder/eye-twitcher/scream-inducer. Do not attempt around knives (for your own safety) or kittens (for theirs). 

For real experts. Name all the 114 countries in the world without endemic birds. It'll surprise you too. 10 mins.

One for diversity: Britain's butterfly species. 10 mins.

Finshed? Welcome to 2017. I know, I can't believe you forgot that warbler either!

-William Jones
William originally hails from the birder's paradise that is Shropshire. However he is currently living in Uppsala, Sweden where he is studying the effects of malaria on Pied and Collared Flycatchers as part of a Master's Programme in Ecology and Conservation. When not in the lab he can usually be found trying to track down Sweden's Owls, Woodpeckers and Gamebirds with limited success.

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