A Real Puzzler

Every now and then I discover a product that is so bad that I will actually purchase it because of its "badness". This United States Jigsaw Puzzle- Official Birds of the States fell into that category. As I was looking at the box while in the store, I was astonished to not only see a few errors, but also an especially terrible sense of photo selection as well!

Click on the photo of the jigsaw puzzle. Can you spot the errors?

Times up.

Michigan, Alabama, and New York all seem to have the wrong species of bird in the photograph. The photo of the robin used for Michigan should be a photo of an American Robin (like in the photo used for Wisconsin.) However, it isn't. It appears to be a photo of an European Robin.

Perhaps the puzzle manufacturer was simply thinking that a robin is a robin is a robin- so it wouldn't make much difference which species of robin they used. This line of thought might help explain why a photo of what looks to be a Mountain Bluebird was used for the state of New York. A photo of an Eastern Bluebird should have been used.

Which brings me to Alabama. My home state. The state bird of Alabama is the Yellowhammer- which is a Southern nickname for the Northern Flicker. The bird used in the photo for Alabama is definitely not a Northern Flicker. Thanks to my friend Eve, of the wonderful Sunny Side Up blog, I now know that the bird pictured for Alabama on the puzzle is actually the Yellowhammer species of Europe- which isn't even remotely similar to the Northern Flicker. Thanks Eve for solving that mystery for me!

Cardinals have to be one of the easier birds to photograph. They frequent bird feeders. They are very common and they are very pretty. So why in the name of all that is good and feathery did the puzzle maker use a photo of what has to be the ugliest Cardinal in the world? Look at the photo of the Cardinal used for Kentucky. Yikes!

I began to suspect that this puzzle must have been designed by someone in China who wasn't familiar with the the birds of North America. No such luck. Prominently and proudly printed in the lower right corner of the puzzle were the words: "Made in the U.S.A." :)


Joan said...

That's sad. Especially since some parents might actually think they are buying an educational puzzle.

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Hi Joan, thanks for the comment. My wife had said the exact same thing when I had shown the errors to her- that people were probably buying it as an educational product for their kids- and for it to be factually wrong was ridiculous. :)

Eve said...

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Hard to say anything here. But let me try!!
That Yellowhammer actually is a Yellowhammer Daniel but THAT Yellowhammer lives in Europe. I know this because my British blogger friend send me a book of British Birds last Christmas. You know Daniel I've noticed these horrible mistakes in other "books" for kids...they get so many things wrong its embarrassing. You really would think someone would put a little effort into this type of thing.
Now the big question is...are you going to author a puzzle for children that we could REALLY use???

Daniel Spurgeon said...

Hi Eve, thanks for the info regarding the Yellowhammer pictured for the Alabama state bird being an European species. I'll add the info to the article- that makes more sense then them just choosing a yellowish bird. :)

The Giraffe Head Tree said...

OMG! WTF! LOL! This is amazingly jaw-dropping news, Daniel. But moreover it's rather embarrassing to know it was made in the good ole USA. Sadness. I'm without speech.