Saturday, February 28, 2009

Trivia Night

Friday evening Jean and I attended a "trivia night" organized to raise funds for the Niagara Falls Big Brothers Big Sisters. Our friend Ian, an accountant, puts the team together for the Certified General Accountants of Ontario sponsored event. The team also includes Jean's brother Frank and his wife. We all have our strengths. Cam for example is a history teacher, so an answer to a history question is obviously provided or scrutinized by him. Our fellow team members, knowing we are birders, look to us to answer any bird questions. No pressure there. Our team, the same group of eight, has attended a few "trivia nights" over the last 3 to 4 years and we had never encountered questions on birds until Friday evening.

There were ten rounds, each round containing the following categories, "What's that called", Pop Culture, Public Sector, Wine, General Knowledge, Wildlife, Music, Sports, Entertainment, and Canadiana. After the fifth and final rounds were bonus questions, "daily doubles". The questions were read first so the teams could ponder the question and wager an amount based on their knowledge of the subject. On seeing the wildlife category I thought they wouldn't have any bird questions. Well they did! Not one but a total of four out of ten wildlife questions were specific to birds. What were the questions you mad crazy birders are asking? They were as follows. I'll place the answers lower down so you can all play along.

1. True or False. The male owl has a higher pitched call than the female owl.

2. New Guinea has many interesting birds, what unique feature does the Hooded Pitohui possess?

3. What bird is known as a "trickster" in native folklore and is the official bird of the Yukon Territory?

4. What member of the cuckoo bird family has a long tail, can reach a running speed of 15 miles per hour, and eats snakes and lizards?

Officially we answered two questions correctly. In our opinion the only wrong answer we submitted was for question number one.

We answered the first bonus question correctly, doubling our points. Many thanks to Jean and her obsessive reading of horse books. Of the 18 teams of eight, she was the only one in the hall, besides the judges, that knew the offspring of a male horse and female donkey is known as a "hinny". Our team led by 29 points going into the final bonus round. Thinking teams behind us were betting all their earned points we wagered too many points on a solar system question. Hind sight is 20/20. Our wrong answer dropped us from first to fourth overall. It was a great evening with our friends, raising money for a worthy cause. Hopefully more bird questions and less pop culture questions involving Madonna and Britney Spears will be encountered during our next night of trivia.

Now for the answers.

1. False. The female owl has a higher pitched call than the male. (We answered this as true)

2. Poisonous feet and skin.

This one was a point of contention for our team. We simply answered poisonous. We were ruled incorrect. Groan! Jean did well with an educated guess on the Hooded Pitohui, Pitohui dichrous.

3. The Raven.

4. Roadrunner.

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