Guide to Identifying Birds

Identifying birds is a fun and educational process. You can do it from the comfort of your backyard or you can go hiking while looking for new species of birds. Before you begin dabbling in proper bird identification, be sure to buy a good field guide. Photos and descriptions will help you narrow down your searches. Follow these tips to help you further with wild bird identification.

Location, Location, Location
The first step in identifying birds is to consider the bird's location. Many birds are native to certain climates and areas. A bird frequenting New York is generally a different species than the birds that frequents Texas. In most field guides, the species of a bird is linked to the region in which it is most commonly found.

Additionally, consider the region the bird is living. A bird that lives in a mountainous region is different from a bird that lives near the water. Some birds are only found near saltwater and others are only found in freshwater.

Pay Close Attention to Behavior
Consider the bird's behavior when trying to identify its species. This means everything from how they eat to how they fly. Some birds fly higher than others and some birds eat mostly insects, while others only eat meat. Look at the bird's wings. Are they large or small? If you find feathers on the ground, look to see their color, shape and if there are any patterns on them: bird feather identification can help you narrow down your search.

Evaluate Particular Features
Look at the bird's morphology to help you with identifying birds. Some birds have sharper bills that are meant for ripping flesh and others have shorter, rounder bills meant for eating nuts and seeds. The look of the bill will help you determine the bird's diet and needs.

Carefully Examine Bird Eggs
If you can get a look at the bird's eggs, this will also help you, as bird egg identification can help you narrow down its species. Look at everything from the size of the egg to its shape and color. Many bird eggs have a distinct color about them, and it's important to note this when trying to identify the bird's species.

Appearances Tell a Lot
Look at the actual appearance of the bird. Birds have distinctive colors, patterns and sizes. The difference between a hawk and hummingbird is distinct. Consider everything from the shape of its feet to the coloration on its head and wings.

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