Q:

Where can I identify birds?

A:

Birdwatchers can identify birds either at home or in the field using online or printed field guides. These field guides help birdwatchers identify a bird by comparing the observed shape, size, color and behavior of the bird with the kinds of birds known to be in the area.

To use the field guide, bird-watchers compare the silhouette of the bird to other common silhouettes. The silhouette contains information about the size, proportion and posture that can rule out many birds. Bird-watchers further eliminate birds by comparing the size and shape of individual parts of the anatomy, both alone and in relation to other parts of the bird.

They can also focus on the overall color pattern of the bird. Wear and tear on the feathers can affect colors, but the overall pattern is still present. Stripes, edgings and marks in distinct locations help to differentiate species. If two species have similar patterns, they can often be distinguished by how bold or faint the markings appear. Some birds have distinctive colors, making them easy to identify by color alone.

A bird's posture, movement, flight pattern and feeding style can all provide valuable information for identification. Bird-watchers observe the bird for as long as possible to observe as many of these behaviors as possible.

The habitat of the bird should be noted. Birds are choosy about their environment, preferring some areas over others. The location of the bird is important to narrow down the species.

Learn More

Related Questions

  • Q:

    Are birds ominvores, carnivores or herbivores?

    A:

    Depending on the species, a bird may be a carnivore, an omnivore or an herbivore. Larger birds with sharp talons are more likely to be carnivores, while small birds with beaks built for cracking nuts are more likely to be herbivores.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why can birds fly?

    A:

    According to Birds in Backyards, birds can fly because every part of their anatomy has evolved to enhance flight. In order for a bird to fly, it must be lightweight. Therefore, birds have evolved lightweight hollow bones which resemble a honeycomb, making them strong yet light. In addition, birds have fewer organs and no teeth, and they use a gizzard to grind up their food.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    Why do birds migrate?

    A:

    Birds migrate to mate, search for food, escape harsh weather, evade predators and to flee from diseases. Birds also migrate to raise their young in a safe environment.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:
  • Q:

    What is a group of birds called?

    A:

    There are many different names for bird groups, and what they are called depends on the species. A group of hens is called a brood, while a group of penguins is a colony. A group of geese is called a gaggle, and a group of quail is called a bevy.

    Full Answer >
    Filed Under:

Explore