Identifying birds

Here is where we will be taking our first step into the bird world: identifying birds.

Specifically, we will be focusing on the appearance of birds - as well as their sounds.

It will be easy-peasy because we use the same method to recognize our fellow human friends!

Have you ever seen a friend from the back or from a distance, and wonder if it is actually your friend? Well, you certainly don't want to go up and greet the person only to have the person turn out to be a stranger! So what do you do? You take note of specific features that the person has and match it up to features you know your friend has.

For example, does the person have blonde hair like your friend? Does your friend like to stand in a specific manner? Does your friend wear glasses? Does your friend have a jacket of the same blue color?

Just take what you've done there and apply it to birds! Only this time you will be looking at the shape, the color, any patterns or field marks you can spot on the bird.

Does the bird have a long tail? Red belly? Black head? Long beak? Long legs?

Those are only a few of the things to look for in a bird. The important things to look for with birds are the shape, size, color and pattern and the sounds. With the help of John Barbour, a bird enthusiast and employee at Wild Birds Unlimited, I will go over what all these features mean when taking steps to discover birds.

Select one of the options on the left to read about what features to look for when identifying a bird.