Bare-Fronted Hoodwink

The bare-fronted hoodwink is an extremely shy species of bird. To date it has never been fully observed. In fact, its existence has only been surmised thanks to the efforts of ornithologist M.F. Meiklejohn who conducted a careful study of birds "partially seen or indeterminately heard." Meiklejohn advised that bird watchers in the field could recognize the species by its "blurred appearance and extremely rapid flight away from the observer." He also noted that amateur bird watchers appeared to have more luck spying it than did more experienced observers. The photo to the right shows a museum curator's effort to guess at what the hoodwink might look like. This specimen was exhibited at the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh on April 1, 1975.

Reference: M.F. Meiklejohn. "Notes on the Hoodwink (Dissimulatrix spuria)." Bird Notes 24 (1950): 89-92.

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Yes, that's it! I have almost seen this creature several times. It is good to see the actual photograph of one!
Posted by Kenneth Murray  on  Wed May 26, 2004  at  06:48 PM
This sounds like the dominant species of avian here in the central Virginia hardwood forests - the "camo pigeon." There seem to be two varieties, of which only the one marked with green oak-leaf patterns is active during the day. The black camo pigeon is nocturnal. They fly as silently as an owl, and are almost impossible to detect until after they have left behind their "tracks" - shapeless and malodorous white spoor, often on reflective surfaces such as bronze statues or freshly waxed automobiles. 😉
Posted by Thomas Davidson  on  Mon Jun 14, 2004  at  01:58 PM
O, shy bird of flight!
Wandering through the dark night
hoodwink is thy name.
Posted by #1F  on  Wed Nov 22, 2006  at  06:28 PM
Seen by amateurs
Blurred when it's moving
Hoodwink must be shy
Posted by J  on  Sat Nov 25, 2006  at  01:19 AM
Hoodwink run away;
Come again another day;
I must see your grace.
Posted by Dave  on  Sun Mar 16, 2008  at  11:46 AM
For the haiku contest:

It flew off quickly
And the bare-fronted hoodwink
I checked off my list
Posted by Rob Schnautz  on  Tue May 12, 2009  at  08:27 AM