Wednesday night: Students in Jeopardy

By Hugh Powell
August 7, 2008
Nine teams of three graduate students competed in a Jeopardy-style bird quiz show Nine teams of three graduate students competed in a Jeopardy-style bird quiz show.
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…Jeopardy the quiz show, that is. Wednesday night was the first-ever third-annual (see correction in Comments) Student Quiz Bowl. Nine teams of three graduate students competed in a Jeopardy-style quiz show. Questions were all bird-oriented, covering field identification, videos of behavior to interpret, and anatomy, taxonomy, history, hybridization, physiology, and so on – even a category on names given to gatherings of birds (an exaltation of larks, anyone?).

The overall winners, coincidentally, were a team of former Cornell undergraduates*** who called themselves TCL6 (inspiration for the name is rumored to have come from the e-mail address of a crack birder at the Lab). Some of my favorite answers? (Remember to frame them in the form of a question): What is an Olympic Gull? What is a herd of cranes? What is psittacofulvin? What is a Cape May Warbler (which sounds like an easy one, but the clue was a picture of just the back end of the bird.) Congratulations to all the participants.

Some commenters asked for photos from the floor of the poster show, exposing a key flaw in the Round Robin meeting coverage team: no photographer. But I pulled out my cell phone and managed to get you a couple of pictures of the subterranean poster setup:

Thanks for reading – and if you have any questions or would like to see anything in particular covered, drop me a note in the Comments. The conference is half over, and I’m off to see Dr. Terry Root of Stanford University talk about climate change.

***Congratulations to the members of TCL6: Scott Haber ’07, Ben Winger ’07, and Mike Andersen ’04.


  • If I’m not mistaken, that fellow in the blue shirt, off-center left in the final picture, looks an awful lot like the esteemed scientist Dr. David Winkler…Truly, these AOU conferences pull in the big guns…Any chance that the AOU folks administering the Jeopardy match will publish a list of the answers for future study? Could make for a fun, flash-based online game on the new website!

  • Nick

    I found your blog through a BirdChat posting. I just wanted to mention that this was actually the 3rd annual quiz bowl; it started in Veracruz at the NAOC. I hope you enjoyed it! (I wrote the questions and moderated the event.) We are thinking about making questions available online somehow and would also like to set up an online submission form for future questions.

  • Hugh

    Hi Nick – correction made. Thanks for pointing it out. And by the way, thanks for putting together such an entertaining episode of Avian Jeopardy. You were a great replacement for Alex Trebek.

  • Hey! I was there too! I was the one who asked if podotheca would have also been an acceptable answer to the question of leg covering . . .

    Anyway, I enjoy reading your coverage of the meeting.

Wednesday night: Students in Jeopardy