Bird Identification

TO IDENTIFY BIRDS, PAY ATTENTION TO DETAILS INCLUDING:

  • Size — bigger than a … smaller than a …
  • Bill shape, length and color
  • Head — large, small, crested, eye ring, eye line
  • Throat and breast — spotted, streaked
  • Wings — wing bars present or absent
  • Tail — length, whether forked or notched, shape
  • Colors, bars, field markings on wings,back, rump and under tail
  • Behavior, such as wing flicking or tail bobbing
  • Habitat (backyard, woodland, wetlands, shoreline, scrub etc.)
  • Species habit (upper canopy, trunk, mid branches, ground, etc)
  • Range maps which show distribution across the U.S

Identification Apps for Smart Phones and/or Tablets:

  • Merlin – a free app from the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. It will help identify birds based on their color, size, habitat, behavior and your location. Photo and sound identification are newer helpful features.
  • Audubon Bird Guide App – a free app from National Audubon
  • Sibley 2nd Edition – $19.99 app allows comparison of 2 species side by side

Websites: